Watch CBSN Live

"Obit bandit" broke into homes while owners were at funerals, police say

BARNSTABLE, Mass. -- Police have arrested a man dubbed the "obit bandit" who allegedly broke into multiple homes while grieving residents were attending funerals and wakes, CBS Boston reports. 

Randy Brunelle, 35, was previously found guilty in 2012 of breaking into the home of a Sandwich police officer while he attended his mother's funeral. Brunelle served 18 months in jail for the crime. Since his release, police say Brunelle has used the same technique to burglarize other homes. 

On Friday night, police say they followed Brunelle's Honda Civic while detectives went to the homes of residents who were attending funeral services in the Barnstable, Massachusetts, area. 

At one point, authorities discovered a burglary had occurred in Cotuit. Brunelle was subsequently pulled over as he drove home and officers say they located jewelry in his sweatshirt pockets, which led to his arrest. 

When the homeowner returned from her mother's wake, she positively identified the jewelry as property that was stolen from the residence. 

Brunelle was charged in connection with the burglary. He also faces charges for two similar incidents that happened in Osterville last September and December. Both crimes occurred while widows attended funeral services for their late husbands. 

According to police, Brunelle is also suspected of breaking into homes in Plymouth and Mashpee. 

Anyone whose home was broken into during a wake or funeral in the past several years has been urged to contact Barnstable Police. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue