Couple sentenced to prison for burglarizing families at funerals
BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporter June 7, 2013 6:18PM
Updated: July 9, 2013 6:17AM
Jacquelyn Buccholz avidly read on-line obituaries to find out who had died in and around the small McHenry County town where she lived with her husband, Jason Werner.
But the couple didn’t send flowers or attend funeral services — prosecutors said the pair instead burglarized at least five homes while the owners were at the wakes and funerals of their deceased relatives.
Jason Werner, 26, was sentenced Friday to six years in prison after admitting he broke into a home in Richmond last August.
His 25-year-old wife earlier this week was sentenced to nine years in prison for her role in the burglaries — which prosecutors said the couple carried out to get money to buy heroin.
Buchholz received the heftier sentence because she has a prior felony conviction and because she “planned the robberies by reading obituaries,” Assistant State’s Attorney David Johnston said during Werner’s sentencing.
She typically visited the Johnsburg Public Library, where she read on-line obituaries, Johnston said. After finding local residents who had died, she located their relatives who lived in the area and then with her husband staged break-ins at their homes during funeral services or visitations, Johnston said.
The couple was arrested last September after a botched burglary in Barrington, authorities said.
A resident returned while they were inside the home, causing them to bolt so quickly they dropped a cell phone — which police quickly traced back to them.