Alleged "Funeral Burglar" captured - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Alleged "Funeral Burglar" captured

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Police call him heartless and selfish, and one of their top priorities over the last three months. 

Officers in the 8th Division called him the Funeral Burglar, saying he would break into homes while loved ones were away grieving.  Michael Bennett, 32, was booked into Metro Corrections Thursday morning, charged with ten counts of burglary. 

At least nine more counts are coming because police say he was busy all over the county, not just in the 8th Division. 

The first burglary dates back to mid-May.  Police say Bennett would comb through the obituaries looking to see when to strike, then would break into home and take money, guns, jewelry, and priceless family heirlooms and mementos.

LMPD Lt. Rob Davis tells WDRB's Gilbert Corsey, "If your loved one has passed, think about during both the visitation and funeral, please have somebody stay at the house.  A shame we have to do that now.  That is how it is.  Now the one criminal has been able to profit from this type of crime, it will be replicated again."

Officers caught up with Bennett Thursday after they say he was involved in two more burglaries.  They say they found the loot in his car.  The rest of the items had already been pawned or sold.

One of the burglar's victims, John Reynolds, said Friday, "We found out about the break-in in Prospect first as we were going into Cave Hill. Well, we can't stop then. Send the police, but we're going to bury our mother."

Reynolds says a thief stole his last moments with his 95-year-old mother:  "Everybody is concerned about what's going on in the house. He took that from us. We can't get it back."

He adds that the burglar took, "Guns, computers, and jewelry, and here he just went straight to the master bedroom and took jewelry boxes."

Sometimes the burglar would take guns and jewelry, other times would get away with things that are more priceless.  Lt. Davis speaks of one man who, "honored our country serving as a pilot and this gentlemen broke in and stole his flight wings."

Bennett has prior convictions for felony burglary.  A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf Friday morning, even though police say he admitted to breaking into the Reynolds' home.

Bond was set at $50,000 cash.

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