Thieves breaking into vehicles of funeral goers at Suitland ceme - New York News

Thieves breaking into vehicles of funeral goers at Suitland cemeteries

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SUITLAND, Md. -

Funeral attendees in Maryland are being targeted by thieves. According to police, it has happened a number of times over the past few months.

A group of mourners were gathered at Washington National Cemetery in Suitland on Saturday afternoon. Their attention was on a funeral service at a gravesite.

According to Prince George's County Police, at least two cars were broken into along the cemetery on Suitland Road. An additional theft happened Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial Cemetery next door.

“It definitely makes you cringe to know that somebody would break into your vehicle and steal your belongings when you are at your most vulnerable point and mourning the death of a loved one,” said Prince George's County Police Cpl. Maria McKinney.

She says in those three cases, three women's purses were taken from the vehicle.

Some of the victims were gathered for funeral services. In one case, their cars were parked less than 200 yards from where they stood grieving when the thieves struck.

As you walk along the road here, there is shattered glass just steps from grave markers.

Since none of the victims noticed anyone coming or going, investigators are looking into whether the suspect or suspects actually drove pretending to be part of the funeral procession.

“That is certainly possible,” said Cpl. McKinney. “As of this time, it currently remains under investigation.”

There have been at least six cars broken into since June 1st between the two cemeteries and the Cedar Hill Cemetery across the street.

The same company manages all three locations and tells FOX 5: “We are working with police and taking extra security measures.”

The company asks that visitors to “Please keep purses and other valuables out of sight when your vehicle is parked, no matter where you are.”

Even at the cemetery, McKinney advises that you should “hide it, keep it, lock it. For instance, when you park your vehicle and you know you're going to be away for a long amount of time, you should take your GPS off your windshield or take your purse with you or hide it.”

Car thefts, which have been a big problem county-wide, are down nine percent since this time last year and police want that decline to continue.

They say it is possible that in this case, the suspects used a tool which gently taps the window and makes less noise than smashing it in order to go undetected.

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