Accused St. Paul burglars told police they choose their targets by looking up obituaries and then using phone books or public property records to locate addresses, says the St. Paul Pioneer Press. A girlfriend of one suspect said he uses Google to see pictures of the outside of homes “to determine whether or not is it a suitable target.”
In one recent case, the pair allegedly broke into the home of a woman who had just died, taking jewelry with sentimental value, including the gold wedding bands of the 62-year-old woman and her late husband. “It’s hard enough to go through the loss of someone, and then it’s unbelievable to have people without a conscience go out and do this under these circumstances,” said the woman’s daughter. “They pretty much trashed the house.” the woman said. St. Paul police Sgt. Paul Paulos suggested that when a relative dies and a house will be vacant, people should call the police district that serves the neighborhood, explain the situation and ask for extra patrols, along with asking neighbors to keep an eye on the house.