A Middle Tennessee couple is accused of breaking into homes of grieving Gallatin families while they were attending funerals last month.
Aaron Guy Harris, 44, of Lebanon and Kelli Rene Windle, 31, of Murfreesboro are facing multiple charges in connection with a string of aggravated burglaries in Gallatin and Sumner County, according to local law enforcement officials.
“They were researching obituaries and when they knew (the victims) were going to be at the funeral they would force entry into their house,” Lt. Lamar Ballard with the Gallatin Police Department said. “Not only were they stealing from the residents that live here in Gallatin, but they were stealing from the visitors that were coming from out of town and staying with them to attend the funeral.”
According to court records, the couple are accused of breaking into a home in the 100 block of Duncan Street while the homeowner was at a memorial service for their deceased daughter on Aug. 8. Among the items stolen were electronics, a revolver, cash and clothing valued at more than $1,000.
On Aug. 17, police say a home in the 100 block of Glenn Avenue was also burglarized while the family was at a funeral. Multiple computers and more than two dozen pieces of jewelry were among the items taken from the residence.
“They’re attending their loved one’s funeral and then they are being victimized by these burglaries,” Ballard said. “The type of people that would do this would have to be despicable and heartless.”
The couple is also accused of breaking into a residence in the 200-block of Buck Perry Road in Bethpage and taking jewelry and electronics while the victims were away running errands on Aug. 17, according to arrest affidavits.
Investigators say some of the stolen items from the burglaries were later sold by either Harris and/or Windle at pawn shops in Hermitage, Lebanon and Nashville.
In addition to facing multiple aggravated burglary and theft charges, Harris has active warrants for theft in Oregon, according to an arrest affidavit. His “significant criminal history” also includes previous arrests for burglary, theft, weapons and drug offenses.
Both Harris and Windle are scheduled to appear in Sumner County General Sessions Court on Oct. 28.