Burglars Target People at Wakes and Funerals

Marengo’s Kristin Ottolino shares the following advice about how to keep your home safe:

To All Concerned McHenry County Citizens,

The Chief of Police of Marengo and I have discussed the current status of the recent burglaries. The Chief is seeing a consistent pattern he wants to share with all of us. I left the conversation attached below for you to read, but the important fact for you to know is that while “funerals or wakes” are being held, burglars are breaking into the homes of grieving families.

There have been five of these types of burglaries in the recent past and they can be prevented.

If you must attend a funeral, especially if the date/location has been published in the newspaper, PLEASE DO NOT leave your house unattended!

We realize, in situations such as this, everyone wants to be at the funeral home with you.

If you do not have someone to stay at your home, then PLEASE have family members go back and forth to the house in shifts.

Do not leave your home unattended even for a short time. Have one family member stay at your house for two hours, then send the next person.

Have the first person wait for the second person before they leave… and so on.

I realize funerals are a difficult time for families, but please… burglars are taking advantage of these unattended homes.

Don’t allow yourself to become the next victim of these despicable criminals.

Stay Safe ~ Stay Vigilant,

Kristin Ottolino

She wrote the above message after getting the following email from Marengo Police Chief Hallman:

Ms. Ottolino,

Although we (in the city) have not had any burglaries, I must point out that there have been five (5) reported in McHenry County which have occurred either during a funeral or wake when the family is not home attending said services. Two occurred in the Richmond area (08 /15 and 09/10), one in Harvard (08/22) and one near Marengo (09/04) with another near Union (08/09). I’m not certain if the houses were forced entry. You may have seen the NW Herald press release concerning this activity.

I know the MCSP is following up on various leads, but this adds another element to the burglary issue. I have cautioned families in town to have someone watch their residence during these services. Typically the last thing you are thinking about during a time like this is your house getting “tossed”, but criminals are very unsympathetic.

The only description(s) that may be linked with this activity was a smaller, dark bluish sedan with two occupants (younger male & female -20’s) in the area of one of these incidents.

Stay safe.

Chief Hallman


Burglars Target People at Wakes and Funerals — 1 Comment

  1. Thank you, Chief Hallman, for making people aware of this serious issue.

    Unfortunately, we were one of the targeted families, and our local police department does not share the same concern or compassion as you.

    After 3 witnesses reported seeing a suspicious vehicle and occupants at the home, the police dept. could only focus on family members being the “culprit”.

    As 35+ year members of our community, we were sickened and saddened by not only this terrible incident that happened at such a sad time, but by the treatment from our local PD.

    Again, I applaud you for your professionalism and thank you for making the public aware.

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