Clay County man accused of stealing from people attending funerals taken into custody

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Dale Parsons’ mug shot from the Clay County Detention Center.

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SMITHVILLE, Mo. — A 35-year-old man faces burglary, stealing and unlawful possession of a firearm charges in Clay County and is accused of robbing people while they attended funeral services. Prosecutors filed charges against Dale Parsons on Friday, and the Clay County Sheriff’s fugitive apprehension unit took him in custody on Monday afternoon.

Parsons of Smithville, Mo., is charged with three counts of burglary in the 2nd degree and two counts of stealing a firearm.

According to the Clay County Sheriff’s Department, Parsons was pulled over on November 29 for crossing the center line in his green Ford truck.

His truck was also on camera at a home whose security alarm had been set off, according to documents.

When authorities obtained a search warrant to search Parsons truck, they say they found a Glock model 17 handgun and a Springfield XDM handgun, which were reported stolen.

They also found a handwritten note with a man’s name, address and home phone number on it, as well as dates with times. When detectives contacted the man whose name was on the paper, they discovered the dates on the note were identical to the obituary advertisement of a person with the same last name as the man’s.

Detectives had been investigating a series of home burglaries in rural Clay County where the doors and windows had been pried open for entry.  At the time of one burglary, a man was at his wife’s funeral visitation.  A window frame and latch were damaged at the man’s home.

In another case on November 27, two burglary victims had gone to the same funeral visitation. A 60-year-old woman was attending her husband’s funeral that had been published in an obituary, when someone forced their way into her home and stole jewelry and a Discover card.

Investigators say they have surveillance video proof that Parsons drove up to a gas station in Excelsior Springs and used the credit card to purchase beer and cigarettes.

The second victim who attended the same funeral also had jewelry stolen and a Glock model 17 handgun. Authorities say the handgun was later found in the green Ford truck.

During their investigation, detectives say they went to pawn shops to look for the stolen jewelry. One shop had Parsons listed as selling jewelry to them, but Parsons told detectives it belonged to his wife. However, police say two of the rings at the pawn shop for which Parsons received money, were stolen and had the engraved initials of a burglary victims in Platte County.

In all, Parsons faces eight counts of burglary and stealing.

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