Thief uses obituaries to target deceased, break into their Metro Detroit homes during funerals

A Detroit man used obituaries to determine who had recently died, so he could steal from them.

Police say Jerry Ryan Ashley took it a step further and committed alleged break-ins at the homes of the deceased while their funerals and wakes were happening. The 44-year-old is accused of targeting homes in Grosse Pointe Woods, Grosse Pointe, Ann Arbor, and Bloomfield Township.

During these thefts, police say he would steal family keepsakes and heirlooms.

"I can't think of anything lower to do than to victimize somebody when they're burying their loved one," Grosse Pointe Woods Police Chief John Kosanke said.

Ashley, of Detroit, was caught after investigators started connecting the dots following several break-ins. Home security video then caught him in the act.

"I don't know if we've learned everything that he's done yet," Kosanke said.

Ashley, who has a record of home invasion, trespassing, malicious destruction of personal property, and breaking and entering with intent, is now facing several counts of breaking and entering. He is currently being held in jail on a high cash bond.

Watch FOX 2 News Live