HALIFAX -- Darren White of Aylesford, N.S., is still fixing the busted locks and bent frames of his scratched and dented gun safes – the result of a break and enter on Monday.

He discovered the theft when returning home from an already devastating event – his father's funeral.

“It took me 20 minutes before I could even start to think,” says White. “I tried to dial my phone a couple of times for the police, and it was like, ‘I can't even work the thing.’

White posted a notice on Gunpost.ca after eight handguns and four AR-15 rifles were taken, which he says cost nearly $15,000 – and years of work of customization work.

“I compare it to somebody restoring an old car,” says White. “You buy an old rusty car, love it, restore it, put all this money into it, take it to the gas station and fill it up – and when you walk into pay, somebody drives away with it.”

Nova Scotia RCMP is investigating, but White says the break-in feels targeted as nothing else in the house was stolen.

“My handguns that go to the range, they're all in their cases–all locked,” says White. “So, easy access. Once you smash the thing open, they're all locked with all of their paperwork – so they just pull them out and go.”

It's a method others in the area are familiar with: thieves waiting for a signal that a house will be empty – like a post on a funeral home website.

“People who have had people pass away and Joe Public, so to speak, knows that that person has had a particular illness – in particular, cancer; then they will break into the house while everybody is away for the funeral and steal prescription drugs that might be left in the home,” says one resident.

The thieves, however, left a few of White's pieces, such as a shotgun he inherited from his grandfather, which is over 100-years-old.

Now White is left dealing with both losses.

“That's one of the most despicable things you can do,” says White. “Someone is at a funeral, and you break into their house.”

Meanwhile, police continue to investigate and note the weapons should be easy to track as they have serial numbers and registration papers – however, that is only if they resurface or are sold.