Police: ‘Obit bandit’ targets homes of mourners at funerals

Randy Brunelle. (Barnstable Police Department)

Randy Brunelle. (Barnstable Police Department)

BARNSTABLE, Mass. (AP) — Police have arrested a man they say broke into people’s homes in Massachusetts while they attended wakes or funerals.

Authorities say they began to suspect 35-year-old Randy Brunelle during an investigation into a series of break-ins on Cape Cod. Brunelle previously had served an 18-month prison sentence on a 2012 conviction for breaking into a police officer’s home as the officer attended his mother’s funeral.

Barnstable police say they followed his car Friday while other officers went to homes of residents attending funerals.

Officers discovered a break-in and pulled Brunelle over. Police say they arrested him after finding jewelry in his pockets.

Brunelle, who police nicknamed the “obit bandit,” is facing multiple charges including felony breaking and entering. The Cape Cod Times reports that he ignored a reporter’s questions while entering court for his arraignment Monday.