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Increase in car robberies at LA area cemeteries

An increase in robberies is happening in an unlikely place.

Authorities are receiving reports of robberies at cemeteries in the Los Angeles area that occur when people are visiting the graves of their loved ones.

Authorities say they are receiving these reports constantly and that these crimes have even increased in the last year.

Many times the victims are people who have just lost a loved one.

Last Friday, Yesenia Curiel was visiting the grave of her niece, who died when she was a baby, and suddenly a noise interrupted the rosary.

“They looked and that’s when they broke the window and physically entered the car,” Curiel said.

The thieves were in the car that was parked at Forest Lawn Covina Hills Cemetery.

“It’s like a shock but also fear that I’m no longer going to feel 100 percent safe to go,” Curiel said.

Visits to the cemetery are a family tradition. But last Friday she ended up losing two computers and her bag containing credit cards.

Curiel received multiple collection notices at Walmart almost instantly. One exceeding $400 dollars. And even another transaction in Mexico.

“I feel sorry for them and also a little angry,” Curiel said. The case is not isolated.

“When the officers came at the time they told me that this is a common thing that happens,” Curiel said.

There are two cemeteries in the jurisdiction of the Walnut Sheriff’s Department.

They say they see it every other day and that these crimes have increased especially in the last year.

“They tell us that there are cemeteries where people are robbing three times a day,” Curiel said.

The recommendation is to keep belongings in the trunk and make sure not to take valuable items, even to the cemetery.

In Curiel’s case, she says she feels lucky that it didn’t happen to her mother.

What hurts her is that she lost all the work she had on the computer, where she has her thesis for her doctorate.

The case is still under investigation.


Source: NBC Los Angeles

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