Polk County

Man accused of breaking into 10 homes while families were attending funerals

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A Polk County man was arrested Monday after deputies said he broke into at least 10 homes while the families were attending funerals.

Deputies said the burglaries happened between Oct. 1, 2020 and Feb. 8 in the areas of Auburndale, Mulberry, Lakeland, and Haines City.

Polk County deputies said Ronald Rose, 42, confessed to committing one burglary in Auburndale.

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According to the sheriff’s office, a detective investigating one of the burglaries discovered there were at least nine other burglaries that had also occurred while the families were away at a funeral, which had been publicly noted in obituaries.

Detectives said the burglaries occurred during the daytime. They said Rose took jewelry, watches, silver, coins, and firearms.

During a search of Rose’s home, additional stolen property was recovered and tied back to the 10 burglaries.

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Deputies said some of the property that was found was not reported stolen by the 10 known burglary victims. Detectives said they believe there may be more victims.

Anyone who believes they have been a victim of one of these burglaries, or 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.

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“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,” said Sheriff Grady Judd. “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.”

Rose is being held in the Polk County jail.

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Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.