Pittsylvania Co., VA - A crime of opportunity that has one Pittsylvania County widow searching for answers.
Traci Thompson was grieving the death of her husband at a funeral home visitation when her home was burglarized.Thompson believes she was targeted because of the obituary notice in a local newspaper. It had Thompson's home address, as well as the date and time of her husband's memorial services.
Police say there are ways to make sure this doesn't happen to your family during a time of grief.
Thompson's husband Jimmy unexpectedly passed away last month. As she faced the difficult task of funeral arrangements, the last thing she expected was this.
"I was like 'What in the world. We've just been robbed,' and they said, 'What else did they take?' and I said, 'Oh no, my pocketbook, '" said Thompson.
Thompson left the funeral home and returned to her house to find cash, jewelry and her purse stolen.
She believes this was no coincidence.
"It was printed in the paper, all of the information and stuff....had no clue what to put in and what not to put in, " said Thompson.
Pittsylvania County Investigator Kevin White says he hasn't heard of this kind of crime happening often in the county, but thieves are always looking for ways to take advantage of people when they least expect it.
"Things are changing, and some people need to start realizing that neighborhoods they grew up in that were quiet is not quiet anymore, " said White.
To protect yourself and your loved ones from being targeted, have a trusted family member or friend guard your home while you attend published events like funeral services or weddings.
Make sure your security alarm is activated.
White says the simplest of all may be to limit the information you share.
"Don't give all of your information out. Keep some things to yourself. The less you can put in the paper sometimes the better, " said White.
Thompson says she hopes to recover her stolen items, but most importantly she wants to keep this from happening to others.
The investigation into the burglary is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office at 434-432-7931.