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A man in central Florida was arrested Monday after allegedly carrying out at least 10 burglaries over the past five months in broad daylight, targeting houses while funeral ceremonies were taking place.

Ronald Rose, 42, of Lake Wales, Fla., is charged in connection with 10 burglaries that occurred between Oct. 1, 2020, and Feb. 8, 2021, in the areas of Auburndale, Mulberry, Lakeland, and Haines City.

He allegedly targeted homes owned by the recently departed or their relatives and used public obituaries, which noted funeral times, to carry the burglaries when people would likely be away, according to a statement released by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators said the burglaries all occurred during the daytime, and the primary target for theft included jewelry, watches, silver, coins and firearms.

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Rose is facing a slew of felony and misdemeanor charges, including two counts of armed burglary, eight counts of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, grand theft between $20,000 and $100,000, eight counts of grand theft from a dwelling, seven-counts of grand theft of a firearm and petit theft. He is now being held in Polk County Jail without bond.

“People who burglarize or steal are low, so victimizing people during a time when they are grieving the loss of a loved one. … That’s lower than low,” Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. “Someone who is willing to take advantage of people at a time like this has no compassion or consideration, and is a true menace to society.”

Ronald Rose is being held without bond at Polk County Jail
(Polk County Sheriff’s Office)

In an interview with detectives conducted after his arrest Monday, Rose allegedly confessed to committing one of the Auburndale burglaries, the sheriff’s office said. The car he used to commit that burglary was a rental, and a subsequent search of that vehicle resulted in investigators finding enough evidence to acquire a search warrant of Rose’s home, where additional stolen property was recovered and tied back to the ten burglaries.

Because some of the property that was found in Rose’s home has not been reported stolen by the 10 known burglary victims, detectives believe there are potentially more victims, possibly in other counties and jurisdictions, the statement from the sheriff’s office said. Detectives are reaching out to other agencies to share their findings. The investigation is ongoing.

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Anyone who believes they have been a victim of one of these burglaries, or anyone who believes the residence of a deceased loved one has been burglarized in this manner, is asked to contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 863-298-6200.

Rose’s prior criminal history consists of six felony charges and fifteen misdemeanor charges, including arrests for burglaries, battery, thefts, criminal mischief, resisting, drug possessions and numerous violations of probation.

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