Officials: Portage Co. burglaries may be linked to obituaries - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Officials: Portage Co. burglaries may be linked to obituaries


Authorities are calling a string of burglaries in Portage County unusual. That's because they believe the suspect may be using obituaries to find targets.

The obituaries are usually a place to remember those lost. But the Portage County Sheriff's Department believes someone may be using them for something much different.

"Burglaries happen from time to time and three of them happen to coincide with someone who died in the family," Portage County Sheriff's Department Captain Dale O'Kray said.

Since July, authorities say there have been three home burglaries in the Junction City area. And they've all occurred a short time after the owners died.

"We're not really sure if they're tied in, it's kind of a theory at this point.

Portage County officials say it may be a crime of opportunity.

"If they know someone is not going to be home, it's a lot easier for them," O'Kray said.

And it may be happening in other counties.

"Wood County had a similar thing in the Milladore area," O'Kray said. That's why they're working with investigators there to see if anything is connected.

The Sheriff's Department says some of the stolen items include jewelry, a television and tools—adding up to around a $3,000 value.

"If anyone saw anyone, if someone sees a strange vehicle not from the area—anything that can give us more information," O'Kray said.

Officials say sometimes a suspect will try to sell the stolen items—so that's also something to look out for.

Anyone with information is asked to call Portage County Sheriff's Dept: (715) 346-1400

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