He’s stealing from people at cemeteries, then going on shopping sprees, deputies say

NORTH LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Residents who live near a cemetery off Rock Island and Bailey Roads tell us that car break-ins have been a plague in the area.

The cemetery is just as vulnerable.

A man has been caught on several different cameras on different days at big box stores. He buys gift cards that detectives said are paid for by grieving victims visiting a cemetery in North Lauderdale.

Residents say: “That’s a dangerous person to take advantage of people when they’re grieving.”

Signs are everywhere at Star of David Memorial Gardens that warn visitors to take valuables.

Last month, deputies said a black 2014 Acura was burglarized as the victim visited her mother’s gravesite. The thief took her purse.

(See surveillance video for a closer look below)

A thief gets people at their most vulnerable; while they are visiting a cemetery.

Eight days later, there was another victim, and two days after that, a third person was targeted at a tennis center in Parkland.

But deputies found the same guy going to big box stores with the victims’ stolen credit cards, buying a bunch of gift cards worth more than $2,500.

Pamela Matthews, who regularly visits her husband’s and granddaughter’s gravesites there, says she’s on alert now although she says she shouldn’t have to be.

“That’s heartless. There are already people grieving and, you know, why would you do something like that?” she said.

Deputies are warning people to be vigilant, even at such a sensitive time.

Cameras have captured some good pictures of the thief and there is a cash reward leading to his arrest.

Call Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-8577 if you have information.

About the Author:

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.