Alabama ‘funeral bandit’ used obituaries to target homes for break-ins, police say

An Alabama woman has been charged with multiple burglaries that she is accused of committing while the homeowners were at the funerals of loved ones.

Jennifer Lynn Azizian, of Madison, is charged with four counts of felony burglary out of Priceville and a single count of misdemeanor burglary by the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s Office and Priceville police officials allege Azizian found her targets by reading local obituaries. She then Googled addresses of those listed as survivors and broke into their homes while they were attending the funerals, investigators said.

"She would then go to the address during the time of the funeral and forcibly enter the home to locate prescription medication," Sheriff's Office officials said in a news release.

"As people were laying their loved ones to rest, little did they know that someone was adding to their grief by breaking into their homes," Priceville police officials said in a statement obtained by AL.com. "It was clear that the suspect had been researching obituaries for some time."

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Princeville police officials said they had video footage of the burglar and her vehicle but did not know who she was, AL.com said. That changed Feb. 20, when Morgan County deputies received a call about a burglary in progress in neighboring Hartselle.

The deputies performed a traffic stop on Azizian, who was identified by the homeowner, Sheriff’s Office officials said.

Azizian allegedly gave investigators a statement admitting to the burglaries.

She was booked into the Morgan County Jail with bond set at $60,300. She is no longer listed as an inmate, suggesting she has been released.

Geoff Halbrooks, a longtime employee of Peck Funeral Home in Hartselle, told WHNT News 19 in Huntsville that social media is making crimes like those Azizian is accused of easier to commit.

"(They) look on social media and look at their newspapers and just find those families," Halbrooks said. "There are ways to do that now without a funeral home or anyone else giving their specific address."

He urged grieving loved ones to have someone they trust house-sit while they are away at funerals.

"There are friends and extended family members that would be glad to stay at their home to watch over their personal things while they're handling the affairs of the funeral," Halbrooks told the news station.

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