WELLINGTON (Reuters Life!) - A New Zealand funeral home has stepped in to stop a fake mourner who was attending up to four funerals a week to stock up on food, even filling up tupperware containers to take home, according to media reports.
Harbour City Funeral Home director Danny Langstraat told local newspaper The Dominion Post that the “grim eater” appeared at up to four funerals a week in March and April to enjoy the finger food but clearly did not know the deceased.
The funeral company grew so concerned that it took a photograph of the man, thought to be aged in his 40s, and distributed the picture to its branches.
“Certainly he had a backpack with some tupperware containers so when people weren’t looking, he was stocking up,” Langstraat told the newspaper.
He said the man was “always very quiet and polite, and did as the rest of the mourners did in paying his respects.”
Langstraat said the man stopped coming after one staff member took him aside and told him he could come to funerals but could not take food home with him.
Funeral Directors Association president Tony Garing told the newspaper that such cases happened in the industry occasionally but it was difficult to stop people from coming or call their behavior theft because funerals were usually public events.
Editing by Steve Addison