While jewelry thieves are a common lot as criminals go, police in the tiny community of Caneyville, in Grayson County Kentucky, arrested a man for slipping a ring off of a deceased woman's finger during her wake.
According to police, William Mitchell, 33, Louisville, took the ring off the woman's finger at the funeral home and then broke into a car parked outside. Besides the ring, police recovered a stolen cellphone, a wallet, cash and a debit card.
Mitchell was recently indicted for his part in the crimes, according to an Examiner.com report.
"I've never seen anything like it. I've been a police officer for 20-plus years," said Caneyville Police Officer Anthony Clark.
According to Clark, it was the first call reported involving a crime at the funeral home that is just up the street from the police department.
"They said they had a person acting strange and an allegation had been made that a ring was missing," said Clark.
Clark confirmed the allegations that Mitchell snatched the ring from the woman's finger as she lay dead in her coffin, then broke into a car sitting outside.
Police said Mitchell arrived at the Dermitt-Joyce Funeral Home in June as friends and family paid last respects to the woman.
"He had a relationship with the deceased," said Clark. "I think (they were) boyfriend-girlfriend, but that's not why he was there."
Clark was able to return the ring to family members in order for them to place it back on the deceased finger.
"My main concern was getting the ring back to that family," said Clark.
Mitchell has been indicted on two counts of theft by unlawful taking and being a persistent felony offender.