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Crime News Breaking News

Woman Allegedly Targeted Grieving Families For Burglaries Using Obits

Prosecutors say Latonia Shelecia Stewart stole valuables while families were attending funerals of loved ones. 

By Jill Sederstrom
How to Stay Safe From the Scammer in Your Life

A Bronx woman has been accused of trolling for burglary victims in the obituaries, targeting the grieving spouses of the recently deceased, prosecutors said.

Latonia Shelecia Stewart, 26, was arraigned on Wednesday after a 22-count indictment from a Westchester County Grand Jury for a series of residential burglaries carried out at the homes of families who were attending funeral services, according to a statement from the district attorney’s office.

Prosecutors said Stewart used the obituaries online to target the homes of people she believed would be out of the house attending their spouse’s wake or funeral service.

“When the people returned home, they found their home burglarized,” the district attorney’s office said. “They reported jewelry and other personal property missing.”

At some of the homes, Stewart also allegedly broke out windows and glass doors to gain entry, using a mallet hammer, prosecutors said. The mallet was later found under the seat of her vehicle when she was arrested.

Latonia Stewart Pd

Greenburgh Police had been surveilling the suspect, when they saw her leaving the home of a deceased person and pulled the car over on May 1, 2018. Stewart had allegedly broken into the home with her baby in tow in the car.

Inside the vehicle, police say they found jewelry in plain view, and also discovered that she had been looking at an obituary on her cellphone.

A later search of her residence uncovered other stolen items and burglary tools.

Stewart is now facing a long list of charges, including six counts of second-degree burglary, five counts of third-degree grand larceny and one count of criminal possession of stolen property. The charges stem from six different incidents that occurred in Rye Brook, Cortlandt, Scarsdale, Irvington, Ossining and Tarrytown, prosecutors said.

She’s also facing additional charges for burglaries in Greenwich, Connecticut and Carmel.

Stewart was known to target homes in affluent neighborhoods, authorities said, according to NBC News.

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