WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A former Wisconsin sheriff’s deputy was accused of scouring online obituaries to find out when people would be at funerals so she can break into the houses of grieving families.
- According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Janelle Gericke was charged with a single count of burglary after a family came home from a relative’s visitation and services in February and find the 29-year-old in their home.
- There are at least six other incidents in 2018 and 2019, according to the criminal complaint, where Gericke either tried to sneak into homes or successfully broke in.
A former Wisconsin sheriff’s deputy was accused of breaking into the houses of grieving families — by checking online obituaries to find out when they would be at funerals, police said Tuesday.
In February, a family came home from a relative’s visitation and services and find Janelle Gericke in their kitchen. The 29-year-old was charged with a single count of burglary, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Gericke allegedly told the family she had been hired through Facebook to come and clean, according to a criminal complaint reported by the outlet.
The criminal complaint lists at least six other incidents in 2018 and 2019 where the ex-deputy either tried to sneak into homes or successfully broke in. Several of the alleged incidents occurred at houses of people listed as relatives in online obituaries, at the time that services were being held.
According to the complaint, Gericke was caught going into and leaving a victim’s home in February 2018 while the owner was at a funeral. When the owner came back, a checkbook was missing. Gericke had apparently left a note claiming she’d been at the house to pick up items she bought thru Facebook Marketplace.
In at least two other instances, Gericke was seen sneaking near houses and claimed she was there to pick up items she’d purchased through Facebook, according to the complaint.
After a months-long investigation, police set up surveillance in June at the homes of relatives who would be attending a funeral that had been in a published obituary. Gericke was allegedly seen attempting to break into two of the homes.
Gericke was hired in February 2016 as a corrections officer in the Jefferson County Jail and was fired in June this year. It’s not clear why authorities waited until Tuesday to file charges against her.
Source: New York Post