Cilla Black’s home in south of England has been the intended target of a burglary that is believed to have been planned for during her funeral next week. According to her publicist, a hole in the fence surrounding her property in Denham, Buckinghamshire was discovered last week.

Nick Fiveash said in a statement that 24-hour security had been stepped up at the late star’s home after a hole was found in the perimeter fence on Friday (August 14th), just days before Cilla’s funeral is due to be held in the city of Liverpool next Thursday. Nothing has been stolen from the property, but a number of valuables have been removed to another, more secure location as a precaution.

Cilla BlackCilla Black's Buckinghamshire home is believed to have been the intended target of burglars

The same night, the 72 year old entertainer’s eldest son, Robert Willis, condemned the thieves’ plot to ransack his late mother’s home while the family was still grieving. “I cannot believe someone would stoop so low at a time like this,” he said. “It’s inconceivable. Thankfully it was discovered.”

More: Cilla Black’s album makes it into the UK Top 20 Albums chart

Police confirmed that they were investigating reports of criminal damage at the property, though no arrests have yet been made. Fiveash followed that with a statement of his own. “It looks as if they have been preparing to burgle the house during the funeral. The hole in the chain link fence was cut in a very secluded place.”

Cilla Black died on August 1st at her holiday home near Estepona in Spain. An inquest back in Britain ruled on Friday that she had died from a traumatic head injury when she fell on the sun terrace, and returned a verdict of accidental death. Postmortem details released by Spanish authorities last week suggested that a rare form of stroke caused her death, triggered by the fall.

Fiveash continued: “It’s a difficult time; today was the inquest and next will be the funeral. Her sons have been really brave and dignified and are carrying on for their mum.”

More: Cilla Black post-mortem published by Spanish authorities