Investigators looking for thief who stole items during funeral in Bedford

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BEDFORD, Va. (WDBJ7) -- Investigators are trying to find someone who stole from mourners during a funeral in Bedford.

Surveillance photo (Bedford Police Department) If you have any information on this incident, call 540-587-6012

While family and friends were gathered inside Tharp Funeral Home in Bedford for a recent service, police say someone was outside going through their belongings. “They took it as a crime of opportunity walking through, saw it and did what they did,” explained Bedford Police Chief, Todd Foreman.

Police say someone smashed out three car windows, stealing items from this parking lot.

Now the Bedford Police Department is sharing a photo in hopes that someone recognizes the woman. "We believe she was … there may be involvement or she may know who was involved in it,” said Chief Foreman.

The thief or thieves got away with three purses as well as one family's Christmas. "They had some Christmas presents in the car, I understand, as well as cash to get others,” explained Chris Tharp with Tharp Funeral Home.

Tharp says the mother-of-three lost hundreds of dollars' worth of cash and Christmas presents. "My goodness it's Christmas time, how can we help these folks?”

So the staff quickly jumped into action and came up with a plan to replace what was stolen. "The most direct and obvious way to help this family was to make sure they had money so they could still have Christmas," said Tharp.

The Bedford police department believes the person or persons responsible may live in the area.

They say because the items and money stolen were worth more than $500, the person or persons responsible will face felony charges.