Between 2009 and 2013, the accused, identified as “David”, allegedly broke into the homes in northern Vaud of deceased people and their families on nine occasions, 20 Minutes reported.
He allegedly selected his victims from death notices, before looking up the addresses of the dead person’s family on the internet.
He would then break into the houses while the funeral was taking place, to ensure that no one was at home, the court in Yverdon-les-Bains was told.
On one occasion, the defendant even rummaged through an urn containing the ashes of the homeowner’s mother while she attended her father’s funeral.
The woman described the scene upon her return as “unreal”.
“The apartment was a building site," she told the court, according to 20 Minutes.
"We needed 15 days to put everything back in order," she said.
"He also stole the family jewels.”
Another victim burst into tears as she gave her testimony.
The defendant is accused of stealing both from her hair salon and her home before setting the residence on fire, killing her cat and dog.
"I will never forgive him," the victim said.
Out of the thirty burglaries that he is accused of, up to nine were carried out while funeral services were taking place.
The man would then sell on the stolen items.
Eric Eckert, chief judge of the court, described the alleged crimes as “odious”.
But the defendant, who has previous convictions, insists that he wasn’t aware of what he was doing.
The prosecutor sought a prison sentence of three and a half years.