The Boston Globe reports that police have arrested the man they believe to be the “obit bandit.” Randy J. Brunelle, 35, of Plymouth, Massachusetts, has been arrested for allegedly breaking into homes while victims attended funerals of their loves ones. Brunelle was apprehended when he was found with stolen jewelry after allegedly conducting one of his robberies. At the time, the homeowner was attending his mother’s wake.
Police have charged him with felony breaking and entering for this offense, as well as two robberies in late 2017, which happened when the widowed homeowners were attending services for their late husbands. It is also suspected that Brunelle broke into numerous homes in Plymouth and Mashpee.
Police have been investigating the string of burglaries and break-ins for several months. Brunelle formerly served 18 months after a breaking and entering conviction in 2012. In that case, Brunelle broke into the home of an officer’s late mother while he attended her services.
Last Friday, police got a tip that Brunelle was in the Cape Cod area again. They found the gray Honda Civic he drives and followed him while additional detectives watched over homes that may be possible targets because owners were attending services for their loved ones.
A break-in was discovered at a home in Cotuit, and Brunelle was pulled over. The stolen jewelry was found in the pockets of his sweatshirt, and the victim identified the jewelry as his own when he returned home from the service he was attending.
Brunelle was scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, and was released from jail after posting his $5,000 bail.
*Photo credit Barnstable Police