A 30-year-old woman was found guilty by a jury of burglarizing homes that she targeted while families were attending the funeral services of loved ones in several area homes.
Bronx resident Latonia Stewart was found guilty of six counts of burglary and criminal possession of stolen property following a weeklong trial for a rash of burglaries in Westchester, Fairfield, and Putnam counties between the winter of 2017 and spring 2018.
Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah said that between December 2017 and May 2018, Stewart burglarized the homes of six Westchester County residents in Cortlandt, Greenburgh, Ossining, Rye Brook, Scarsdale, and Tarrytown who were out of the house attending their spouse’s wake or funeral service.
She also burglarized homes in Greenwich in Fairfield County and Carmel in Putnam County.
Stewart targeted the homes after searching through obituaries online, Rocah said.
Jewelry, watches, silverware, and other valuables were stolen during the burglaries. Stewart also used a sledgehammer to break windows and glass doors to gain entry into certain homes and caused further damage to the homes once inside.
On May 1, 2018, Stewart was arrested by members of the Greenburgh Police Department after she was seen driving away from the home of a target who recently died with stolen jewelry inside the vehicle and the website with an obituary pulled up on her cellphone.
Following her arrest, police recovered more stolen items and burglar tools in her car and at her Bronx residence.
“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,” 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.”
When she is sentenced, Stewart faces a term of between three and a half to 15 years in prison.
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