London

OPP warn residents attending funerals to guard against break-ins

Ontario Provincial Police in Elgin and Middlesex Counties are warning residents not to post too much information in obituaries after a "sudden increase in break and enters during funeral ceremonies."

Grieving loved ones might 'question humanity' after coming home to a ransacked home

OPP are warning people to avoid posting too much information in obituaries to prevent break and enters. (Tom Addison/CBC)

Ontario Provincial Police in Elgin and Middlesex Counties are warning residents not to post too much information in newspaper or online obituaries after "... a sudden increase in break and enters during funeral ceremonies."

"Unfortunately, bad people have access to the same Internet that we all do so when they have a person's name, they can then look up that person's address," said Derek Rogers, media relations co-ordinator for West Region OPP. 

Specific numbers were not released, but Rogers said the number of incidents remain relatively rare. Still, he said, it takes an emotional toll on victims. 

"Even being broken into without having the grieving aspect to it is a very unnerving thing to have happen," he said.

"When you compound that with the emotions that you experience during grieving it just makes it that much worse. At that point you might even question humanity."

Prevention

As well as recommending less information in published obituaries, OPP suggest ensuring all doors and windows are locked and notifying neighbours or friends that the home will be vacant. 

"Ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on things for you," said Rogers. 

He said this goes beyond obituaries, to events such as vacations.

"I would just ask people who are thinking of posting on social media about an upcoming absence to ask themselves if this is information they would want people with bad intent to know."