Family believes thieves used obituary information to rob homes - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Family believes thieves used obituary information to rob homes

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(02/18/13) - It sounds almost too ridiculous to be real. Unfortunately, a Fenton-area family says it is real for them.

They believe thieves used obituary information to rob their homes.

Two of their homes, in Livingston County and some 15 miles apart, were hit Valentine's Day. They say they were robbed, while they were away, during the first visitation day for their loved one.

Elaine Kinsman and her Daughter Marissa West spoke to ABC12 Monday.

"He'd been battling cancer for seven years," said Elaine, of her late husband Doug Kinsman.

He passed away last week. Doug was 65.

"He developed pneumonia and just couldn't make it through," Elaine said.

When she returned to their Tyrone Township home after his first day of visitation?

"The door was open. The cold air was blowing in," Elaine said.

She says dresser drawers were also open, her jewelry box empty and the bathroom counter cleared.

The wedding ring her husband had been unable to wear?

"That was gone too. His college graduation ring was gone."

Elaine says both silver boxes, her wedding flatware included, were missing too, as well as a small safe.

If that wasn't bad enough?

Some 15 miles away in Hartland, her daughter Marissa West was experiencing the same thing. Her home had been robbed, too.

"I thought this can't be happening," West said.

Their family could only come to one conclusion - Doug's obituary with all the obligatory information outlining when and where they would be away from their homes.

"Thirty years ago, when my father died, my mother would not let us put an obituary in the paper for this very reason," Elaine said. "In hindsight, that (Doug's) obituary would have been written very differently."

The Kinsman family urges you to just think about what you're providing and to maybe not share as much information if possible.

Both incidents have been reported to the Livingston County Sheriff's Department. ABC12 was not able to reach investigators for comment.

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