Jewelry Thief Strikes At Funeral Home

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A woman was seen on camera taking a ring off a woman who had recently died. Police indicated the crime was being investigated as a felony.

Lois Hicks died April 7. Her granddaughter said the 88-year-old was in an open casket at a funeral home in Odessa, in preparation for the funeral, which was scheduled for Tuesday.

To the family’s surprise, the ring Hick was wearing had been removed over the weekend.

“This woman walked right in and pretty much tore the ring off of her finger,” said Hicks’ granddaughter Robin Bennet.

“Tore the skin… Tore it off and walked right out,” she said.

Odessa Police said the unidentified woman entered the funeral home around 5:30 p.m. on Friday and took the ring.

“She asked where the restroom was, bypassed it and went to my grandmother’s room,” Bennett said. “My two aunts had just been in there.”

“She takes the ring off her finger which is very hard to get off. My grandmother had arthritic hands. To get it off lady struggled,” Bennet added.

“It was horrible, evil thing to do,” she said.

Bennet said the community had offered dozens of messages of positivity through social media, email, and via phone. She explained some folks had offered to contribute to a reward for information on the woman’s identity and/or arrest.

Police encouraged anyone with information, or who recognized the woman, to call Odessa Crime Stoppers at 432-333-TIPS.

Odessa Police issued the following statement Monday:

On 4-9-16 at approximately 1344 hours, Odessa Police responded to 6801 East Highway 80 (Sunset Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home) in reference to a theft from a deceased person. Investigation revealed that on 4-8-16 at approximately 1730 hours, an unknown female subject stole a ring off a deceased person and fled the scene in a red or maroon 4-door Saturn.

The suspect is described as a heavy set white female wearing a brown long sleeve sweater, black sweat pants and black sandals. This is currently being investigated as a State Jail Felony. No arrests have been made and the investigation continues. Anyone with information in reference to this incident is encouraged to contact OPD or Odessa Crime Stoppers at 432-333-TIPS.

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