South Scotland

Thieves in Nithsdale target homes of recently dead people

Thieves have targeted the homes of people who have recently died during a spate of burglaries in parts of Dumfries and Galloway.

In one case, a house was ransacked as the funeral took place.

Police said the crimes have had a "devastating" impact on relatives who are already grieving for a loved one.

Community safety officer Kennedy Anderson said the criminals had taken irreplaceable sentimental items from the homes, as well as high-value goods.

The pattern of break-ins in Nithsdale suggests those responsible have a good knowledge of the area, he added.

"The most recent one has happened on the day of the funeral but they can happen just after the death or a couple of days later," he said.

"It could be that people lived alone but they don't have family locally or they do have family locally but they haven't taken any steps to make sure that any valuables are taken out of the house or locked away, so that makes them vulnerable."

He said people should remove valuables from the house as soon as possible, close curtains and switch on lights to make it look as though someone is at home.

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