Burglars target mourners at cemeteries

HOUSTON Crime Stoppers and investigators with the Harris County Sheriff's office auto theft task force are asking the public's help in identifying suspects who have been targeting individuals at cemeteries across Houston. While the victims are visiting gravesites or attending funerals, these suspects burglarize their vehicles, and then use stolen checks and credit cards to load up on merchandise in local retail outlets.

Investigators say there have been over 30 similar cases at different cemeteries since December 2007. Brookside Cemetery on Lauder and the Eastex Freeway, Veterans Cemetery at Veterans Memorial Drive, and Earthman's Cemetery on I-45 North are among those where the burglaries have occurred.

In one instance at Brookside on January 30, 2008, the thieves took a victim's credit cards and wallet and went shopping at a local Target. The suspects caught on tape in the store were a black female, 18-25 years old, 5'4" – 5'7" tall, medium complexion, shoulder length dark hair, wearing a dark top with white & tan trim, dark pants and light-colored shoes, and a black male 20-25 years old, 5'8" - 6' tall, 175-200 pounds, dark complexion, short afro hair style, wearing a dark shirt with a distinctive "Rocawear Design" logo shirt and a silver-colored watch.

Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information called in to the 713-222-8477 (TIPS) hotline that leads to the identification, arrest and charging of any suspect in this case or any related cases. All callers remain anonymous.

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