A Madison woman was arrested Wednesday and charged with four counts of third-degree burglary after officials say she researched obituaries and stole from victims during funerals.
On January 30, a burglary report was filed with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, and the victim told officials their home had been broken into. The victim said prescription medication had been stolen while their family was at a funeral.
On February 20, Morgan County deputy sheriffs conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle leaving a possible burglary, and the driver, Jennifer Lynn Azizian, was identified by the homeowner. Azizian was arrested on a misdemeanor, and Priceville police then charged her with four counts of felony burglary.
Morgan County investigators say Azizian admitted she would research area obituaries on the internet and then find the addresses of family members. According to the sheriff's office, she would go to the address while the funeral was happening and break into the home to find prescription medication.
WAAY 31 spoke with folks at a local funeral home who say, when families come to visit them, they’ve already lost enough; so they hate to hear that someone would take advantage of these mourning families during such a hard time.
“Death itself is a very difficult thing and why would you want to do something to make it even worse for a family? They’re grieving already," Halbrooks said.
Halbrooks manages Peck Funeral Home and says he’s seen people at their worst. That’s why he was saddened to learn that anyone would intentionally target people who are already hurting.
“They’re coming and having a service for their loved ones and then they get back home and find out that their personal property has been disturbed, stolen, broken into. It’s just really sad," he said.
Halbrooks says, unfortunately, it’s more common than people realize.
“Even someone stealing flowers off of a grave was very difficult, but now, it seems that those people who want to prey on people, they’re choosing to do it in much worse ways," he said. "I think it’s been a constant that’s been there for some time, because you’ve got that certain class of people that would rather do that than work and make an honest living.”
Halbrooks believes there’s a solution to keep this kind of thing from continuing to happen.
“I would encourage families to get someone to house sit, just to stay while they’re gone," he said. "I know people have extended family and they have friends that would be willing to do that.”
Morgan County investigators charged Azizian with burglary third-degree, and her bond was set at $25,000.
Officials ask residents to notify them if they think they have been the victim of a similar break-in or burglary.
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