Police in Barnstable arrest and charge suspected ‘obit bandit’

BARNSTABLE, MASS. (WHDH) - Police have arrested a man accused of breaking into several Cape Cod homes while the homeowners were attending wakes or funeral services.

Authorities said the suspect, Randy Brunelle, 35-years-old of Plymouth, was being investigated by police after a series of break-ins on Cape Cod.

Police said Brunelle would find publicly posted information about the funerals and wakes, call the home during the listed time of the event and then break-in if nobody was home.

Police were alerted about a break-in in Cotuit on Friday night and they were able to locate Brunelle’s car nearby. Police pulled him over and arrested him after they noticed his sweatshirt pockets were stuffed with jewelry.

Police returned the jewelry to the homeowner, who positively identified it all as her own. That homeowner was at her mother’s wake when Brunelle initially broke in and stole the items.

Brunelle, who police nicknamed the “obit bandit,” is now facing multiple charges including felony breaking and entering.

He was also convicted in 2012 and served an 18-month sentence for breaking into a police officer’s home as that officer attended his mother’s funeral.

Brunelle is set to be in court on Monday.

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