Heartless “funeral gang” netted thousands as families laid loved-ones to rest

A heartless “funeral gang” trolled “Births & Deaths” announcements in newspapers in order to plan a series of raids that netted over €320,000 in just over 18 months.

The gang, based in northern Portugal, involved as many as 16 people and concentrated on recently-bereaved wealthy families.

Getting details from the local press, the gang staked out homes, worked out when they would be empty as families paid their last respects and swooped – netting gold, jewellery and luxury goods and taking along with them sophisticated safe-cracking equipment.

According to DIAP investigators, the same MO targeted weddings and christenings and covered as many as 35 break-ins from Monção on the Spanish border to Santo Tirso, northwest of Porto.

The robbers are understood to be between the ages of 25 to 73, with the leader of the gang, “a man from Valongo” already well-known to police.

For now, three people have been taken into custody while one is under house arrest.

The remaining gang-members are at liberty while investigators draw up their case.

[email protected]