Florida man accused of using obituaries and breaking into homes during funeral services

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POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida man in the central part of the state was arrested Monday after reportedly carrying out at least 10 burglaries over the past five months, targeting homes while funeral services were taking place.

Ronald Rose, 42, of Lake Wales, Fla., is charged in connection with 10 burglaries that occurred between Oct. 1, 2020, and Feb. 8, 2021, in the areas of Auburndale, Mulberry, Lakeland, and Haines City.

He allegedly targeted homes owned by the recently departed or their relatives and used public obituaries, which noted funeral times, to carry out the burglaries when people would likely be away, according to a statement released by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators said the crimes all occurred during daytime hours, and the primary items targeted for theft included jewelry, watches, silver, coins and firearms, Fox News reported.

As a result of the investigation, Rose is facing a slew of felony and misdemeanor charges, including two counts of armed burglary, eight counts of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, grand theft between $20,000 and $100,000, eight counts of grand theft from a dwelling, seven-counts of grand theft of a firearm and petit theft, according to the sheriff’s office.

“People who burglarize or steal are low, so victimizing people during a time when they are grieving the loss of a loved one. … That’s lower than low,” Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. “Someone who is willing to take advantage of people at a time like this has no compassion or consideration, and is a true menace to society.”

During the course of investigation, detectives recovered stolen property in a rental car as well as Rose’s home, which tied back to 10 burglaries. Moreover, investigators found additional property they believe belongs to additional victims.

Rose reportedly confessed to the crimes. He is now being held in Polk County Jail without bond. His prior criminal history consists of six felony charges and fifteen misdemeanor charges, including arrests for burglaries, battery, thefts, criminal mischief, resisting, drug possessions and numerous violations of probation.

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