WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. — A Bronx woman was found guilty of using obituaries to target homes of families she knew were attending funerals in Westchester County, authorities said Friday.
The jury found Latonia Stewart, 30, guilty on six counts of burglary and criminal possession of stolen property, Westchester County District Attorney Miraim Rocah said.
Between December 2017 and May 2018, Stewart burglarized six homes in Cortlandt, Greenburgh, Ossining, Rye Brook, Scarsdale and Tarrytown, the district attorney said.
The residents of those Westchester homes were out of the house attending their spouse’s wake or funeral service, according to officials.
Stewart searched through obituaries online and targeted associated homes, stealing jewelry, watches, silverware and other valuables, Rocah said.
Police arrested Steward on May 1, 2018, after they observed her driving from the home of a deceased person with jewelry in the vehicle and a website with an obituary pulled up on her phone, according to authorities.
More stolen items and burglar’s tools in her car and at her Bronx residence were recovered following her arrest, the district attorney said.
“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,” DA Rocah said. “I commend the great work of my team, the Greenburgh Police Department, and the other law enforcement partners who handled this case, and I hope that this verdict brings some measure of comfort to the victims.”
Stewart faces 3.5 years to 15 years in state prison on each burglary count, officials said.