PRICEVILLE, Ala. - Authorities arrested a woman who they say burglarized homes while homeowners attended loved one's funerals.
Police say they arrested Jennifer Lynn Azizian of Madison on four counts of Burglary in the 3rd Degree and one count of criminal mischief in the 1st degree. Officials say they had video evidence of the suspect and her vehicle but did not know her identity. Priceville Police got a warrant for the suspect's phone after she was stopped by a Morgan County Patrol Sergeant after a possible burglary in Hartselle.
Investigators say following the execution of a search warrant, it was obvious that Azizian had researched obituaries for some time. With the combined evidence, police say they obtained four felony warrants for burglary.
Officials with the Morgan County Jail say Azizian's total bond was set at $87,800 and she was able to bond out this afternoon.
Geoff Halbrooks has worked at Peck Funeral Home in Morgan County for 36 years. He says this is not a new crime to occur.
"It's very unfortunate that families have to go through that, the death within its self is enough and then they go back home and find out that their private lives have been invaded by someone breaking in is very sad," says Halbrooks.
Halbrooks says social media is making the crime easier to commit.
"Look on social media and look at their newspapers and just find those families. There are ways to do that now without a funeral home or anyone else giving their specific address."
He adds that social media is helping alert unsuspecting victims of crime.
"Social media has opened people's minds. It's very important for people just to be aware. In their mind that there are people out there that are just looking to take advantage and unfortunately it happens to them in these difficult times," says Halbrooks.
Halbrooks says individuals can protect themselves by asking someone to house sit while they are away.
"We encourage people to maybe have someone to stay at their home when they are away. 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," says Halbrooks.