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3 arrested on suspicion of burglarizing homes of people attending funerals

Burglary suspects scanned obituaries for victims, El Cajon police say

Two men and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of being part of a burglary ring that targeted homes where the residents were attending funerals, the El Cajon police said Friday night.

A dozen such burglaries were reported from January to May at various locations in San Diego County, officials said.

The suspects would check public obituaries and then, using the Internet, find the home addresses of the deceased or their relatives, Lt. Frank La Haye said.

Arrested were Herbert John Cruz, 24, of San Diego; David Andrew Valenzuela, 34, of El Cajon; and Jennifer Lynn Alarcon, 33, of Spring Valley.

Search warrants resulted in the discovery of "numerous" items stolen in the burglaries worth about $100,000, police said. A search of the computer of one of the suspects confirmed the "criminal intentions of the group." La Haye said.

The case was investigated by burglary detectives from the El Cajon Police Department, the county Sheriff's Department and the San Diego Police Department.

More charges may be brought, La Haye said. The break-ins were done by forced entry in some cases, through open windows in others, he said.

Cruz was booked on suspicion of burglary, robbery, being a felon in possession of a firearm, making threats to commit violence and making threats of extortion, according to jail records.

Valenzuela was booked on multiple counts of burglary, according to records. No charges are listed against Alarcon, suggesting that she may have made bail.

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