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Wanted: Suspect who broke into vehicles during a burial at a Houston cemetery

Investigators say the photos show a man trying to use one of the victims’ credit cards at a Kroger and a Dollar General store within an hour of the car burglaries.

HOUSTON — Editor's note: The video above is from our original story.

You have to be a real low-life to prey on people who are mourning a loved one at a funeral or burial.

That’s what happened to at least five victims whose cars were broken into on August 26 during burial at the Forest Lawndale Cemetery in southeast Houston.

On Wednesday, the Precinct 6 Constable’s Office released photos of the man they believe is behind those thefts. Investigators say the photos show a man trying to use one of the victims’ credit cards at a Kroger and a Dollar General store within an hour of the car burglaries.

RELATED: Mourners angry after thieves break into their cars during burial at Houston cemetery

The suspect is a black male with a thin mustache who was wearing glasses. He appears to be average height and weight. The suspect was wearing a black ballcap, blue and white print shirt, black pants and white sneakers.

Investigators say he was driving a silver Dodge Charger.

KHOU spoke with a woman last month whose purse was stolen by the thief.

“My phone was in my purse, my car keys, my door keys to my house, credit cards, driver’s license, insurance, health insurance cards, bank debit cards,” Maggie Turner said.

Turner was attending the burial service of a family member. It only took half an hour for the burial and the plot was only about a hundred yards from where they parked.

She and a handful of other mourners with broken windows went to the cemetery office to tell them what had happened.

“I told her that our car had been broken into and my purse had been stolen — and she said, ‘well here, you can call the police and gave me a number to call the police,” Turner said.

Within an hour, Turner and her husband started receiving fraud alerts for purchases at a Kroger on Polk Street. The thief had already started shopping.

Turner’s credit cards were rejected, but her debit card was approved for a purchase of more than $500.

Forest Park’s security cameras weren’t working the day of the car burglaries, according to Precinct 6.

KHOU 11 asked Forest Park Lawndale how this could’ve happened during a burial service in the middle of the day.

They emailed the following statement:

We take the safety and security of our park very seriously, however, cemeteries are open to the public during normal business hours. We are fully cooperating with local law enforcement with the hope of apprehending these criminals. We encourage any family who has concerns to contact our cemetery office.”

For Turner, it’s little consolation.

“It’s just very, very wrong to do something malicious in a setting that you know is already emotional. It’s already a difficult time, it’s already a sad time and it should be about the family and the deceased. And not about missing phones and credit cards.” Turner said.

If anyone has any information about this case, call Sgt. Gomez with Precinct 6 at 832-206-8720.

Unfortunately, these types of thefts aren’t uncommon.

If you’re at a funeral home or cemetery, you shouldn’t leave any valuables in your car.

Burglars are also known to check funeral notices in the paper so they can break into the home of a loved one.

If you’re posting a funeral notice, you should ask a relative, friend or neighbor to stay at your home until it’s over.


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