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Cemetery Theft

By  Rick Di Pompeo


In recent years there has been an increase in the number of reported thefts from automobiles in cemeteries. People generally think of a cemetery as a quiet, peaceful location where all those inside it’s fences are there for the same reasons; to pay respects to loved ones who have departed this world. A recent rise in the number of police reports indicate that this is not a safe assumption to make. Some people may be there to steal items out of your car or from your possession.

In a recent press release, Cook County (Illinois) Sheriff, Michael F. Sheahan said, "At no time has violence or the threat of violence ever been used in any of the [locally] reported incidents. But everyone visiting the cemetery needs to take some common sense precautions to avoid becoming victimized."

Cemetery visitors should follow these guidelines when paying respects to departed loved ones:

bulletLock all car doors and do not leave valuables in plain view inside of your car.


bulletLock purses and other valuables in the trunk of your car no matter how short your visit will be.


bulletDo not make yourself a target by carrying your purse to the grave site.


bulletAvoid visiting the cemetery alone.


Be aware of your surroundings before exiting your car. Report any suspicious cars, people, or activity to a cemetery attendant or the police.


Richard DiPompeo is a Detective Sergeant with a suburban Chicago police department. Having more than 25 years of police experience, Rick recently received his Master's degree from Lewis University in Criminal Justice.

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