An Excelsior Springs man who admitted to burglarizing the homes of Clay County residents while they attended funeral services was sentenced Monday to 45 years in prison.
Dale Lee Parsons, 36, pleaded guilty on June 13 to burglary, possession of stolen property, attempted burglary, stealing and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.
The break-ins occurred in October and November, said Clay County Prosecutor Daniel White.
“This was a very troubling case,” White said in a statement. “A death in the family is bad enough but to have a person who victimizes those grief-stricken family members—that is unconscionable.”
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Detectives with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office interviewed Parsons after a deputy in late November pulled him over in a truck that matched one shown in a surveillance photo taken several days earlier at a burglarized home.
Investigators found a backpack behind the driver’s seat that contained a pry bar, work gloves and two handguns had been reported stolen in separate burglaries.
Detectives had been investigating a series of residential burglaries in rural Clay County. In October, a handgun and jewelry were taken from a home while a man attended his wife’s funeral visitation.
The second gun had been stolen in a November burglary from the home of a man attending a funeral.
Investigating a separate burglary, a detective learned that Parsons had sold jewelry to a Kansas City pawnshop. The detective found two rings at the pawnshop that bore the initials of the victim. Video surveillance from the shop showed Parsons as the person who sold the jewelry.