Criminals target mourners at cemeteries

Criminals target mourners at cemeteries

SAN ANTONIO - For Debra Bailey, a trip to the cemetery will never be the same.

"When people are in mourning, they lurk on you,” Bailey said.

She’s talking about criminals. When Bailey was visiting a friend at a local mausoleum, someone stole her purse from inside her car.

"My purse was in the passenger seat over on the side and this window [the driver’s window] was open and I was within a few feet at the mausoleum and my kids were playing near the fountain area and he still reached in and grabbed it,” Bailey explained.

We asked police if this type of crime happens often and were told in the past year there have been 16 reports of thefts, burglaries and recovery of stolen property at three major cemeteries in San Antonio, but crime experts believe this happens much more often.

"The fact is a lot of people don't report it because they're embarrassed,” Crime Specialist Gilbert De La Portilla said.

De La Portilla said often times we make things easy for criminals by leaving our doors unlocked or our windows down.

San Fernando Cemetery Number 2 has signs warning people to secure all valuables. Staff at the cemetery also said they regularly patrol the cemetery in hopes of deterring criminals.

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