What to Know
- An obituary-reading burglar who targeted the homes of grieving families while they attended funerals in New York has been found guilty
- A jury this week found Latonia Stewart, 30, of the Bronx, guilty of targeting homes in Westchester County between 2017 and 2018
- Stewart used obituaries that listed the deceased's next-of-kin and the funeral arrangements to know when the homes would be empty
A jury found a Bronx burglar guilty of robbing the homes of half a dozen grieving families while they attended funerals.
Latonia Stewart, 30, was found guilty this week of six counts of burglary and criminal possession of stolen property. The Westchester DA's office says she faces up to 15 years in prison on each burglary county.
Stewart was arrested back in 2018 for allegedly scanning obituaries to find out when grieving families would be attending funerals and robbing their homes while they were gone. The district attorney says Stewart hit homes in Cortlandt, Greenburgh, Ossining, Rye Brook, Scarsdale and Tarrytown between December 2017 and May 2018.
Police had noticed a pattern of robberies targeting people who were listed in recently published obituaries as next of kin. All of the obits included detailed funeral information.
Police in Greenburgh caught up to Stewart while she drove away from a home on May 1, 2018. Police said she had jewelry from a deceased person and an obituary website on her cellphone.
Officers recovered additional stolen goods in her car and Bronx home, as well as a sledge hammer she used to gain access to the homes by breaking windows and glass doors.
“It is absolutely appalling that people mourning the loss of a loved one were specifically targeted and taken advantage of in such a cruel and heinous manner,” Westchester District Attorney Miriam Rocah said Friday.
Stewart's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 22.