A Bronx, New York woman is facing nearly 2 dozen charges for targeting the homes of mourning spouses to burglarize, officials said.
Latonia Shelecia Stewart of the Bronx was arraigned on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, for a 22-count indictment. Stewart is accused of burglarizing the homes of families who were attending funeral services from the fall of 2017 to the spring of 2018. According to the indictment, Stewart burglarized Westchester homes of people who were attending their spouse’s wake or funeral services.
It is alleged that Stewart used online obituaries in order to target the specific homes. When the mourning spouses returned home, they found that their home was ransacked and valuable items were stolen. The items stolen included jewelry and other personal property. In addition, Stewart broke windows and glass doors with a mallet hammer to enter. The mallet was located under the seat of her vehicle.
Her charges are for six incidents, the incidents took place in Rye Brook, Cortlandt, Scarsdale, Irvington, Ossining, and Tarrytown. She also faces burglary charges in Greenwich, Connecticut, and in Camel in Putnam County. “On May 1, 2018, Greenburgh Police, after surveilling the suspect for some time, observed Stewart driving away from the home of a deceased person,” Westchester County District Attorney officials said. “They stopped her car on the Sprain Brook Parkway. Inside the vehicle, they found jewelry in plain view. She also had an obituary on her cellphone. Her baby was in the car at the time. Police took her into custody and later searched her car and her Bronx residence finding more stolen items and burglar’s tools.”
The charges are as follows:
- 6 counts of Burglary in the Second Degree, a class C felony
- 5 counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony
- 1 count of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony
- 1 count of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, a class D felony
- 1 count of Petit Larceny, a misdemeanor
- 4 counts of Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree, a misdemeanor
- 1 count of Possession of Burglar’s tools, a misdemeanor
- 3 motor vehicle violations
Stewart is scheduled next to appear in court Aug. 13, 2019.
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