Two houses, in Vilonia, were burglarized, Monday night, while the owners were at a visitation for a loved one and the thieves got away with some of the deceased one’s jewelry.
James Dennis Edwards, of Vilonia, died Aug. 4. The family decided to hold his visitation from 6 to 8 p.m., Mon., Aug. 5, at Roller-McNutt Funeral Home in Conway, one day prior to his funeral on Aug. 6. A funeral announcement was placed in the paper informing people who wanted to attend. The family had no idea who else would use that information to add to their grief.
“It was a beautiful obituary,” said police chief Brad McNew. “It was so beautiful in fact that it made the thieves want to go there to their house and help themselves. Reading it, you knew he was a successful man.”
The Edwards’ home was burglarized as well as the home of Ronnie and Tina Evatt, son and law and daughter of Mr. Edwards. Both houses are located on the same block, McNew said.
The suspect is described as a white male with short hair. It is believed a four-door Honda and possibly a U-Haul were involved. A stolen credit card was used in Cabot, Searcy and Little Rock, McNew said. Police also have a surveillance video of one suspect using a credit card.
The family is still inventorying their property and adding to the list, McNew added.
“We don’t know what all they took,” McNew said. “So far, we know they took credit cards, cash and jewelry.”
This is his first time, McNew said, to work such an incident. However, he said, “You know it happens. We know another one happened last week in Saline County but we don’t know if the two are linked. We are looking into it.”
It’s a good idea to have a house sitter during a visitation and funeral,
McNew said. Also, he said, everyone should “lock everything up.”
He also cautions technology users regarding putting too much information on the Internet on sites such as Facebook regarding comings and goings.
“It can end up the same way,” he concluded. If anyone recognizes the suspect or has information, they are encouraged to contact the police department.