Three Rochester, New York, suspects were arrested Saturday after they used obituaries to find funerals where they would break into people’s cars.
Bruce Newton, 39, Cearra Campbell, 20, and Chelsea O’Hare, 23, are all facing charges of grand larceny and criminal mischief, but Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn expects more charges to be made.
“This is probably only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the charges we expect to be lodged.”
Newton is accused of orchestrating a number of car break-ins throughout the Rochester area, according to WHEC. O’Flynn said Newton would stake out public places – parks and malls – and watch for women leaving personal items in their vehicles, then break into the car and steal it.
He would also search for obituaries in the newspaper and use them to find more targets.
Livingston County Sheriff Tom Dougherty said, “This might seem like a regular old smash and grab. But when you are targeting folks that are at the time the lowest, grieving over a family loss, and they come out to smash the windows… You can imagine, not only now are they grieving, but now they are upset.”
O’Flynn also made a statement about the atrocity of the crimes.
“All crime is significant however, some crime in particular is despicable. To target individuals at a vulnerable time in their life while attending a funeral is just plain reprehensible.”
O’Flynn said Newton would use the items he stole to commit identify theft. He had two prostitutes, Campbell and O’Hare, pose as the theft victims and use the credit cards.
Since the break-ins occurred across the Monroe, Ontario, and Livingston counties, O’Flynn says the three will be facing charges from multiple police agencies. Their current charges stem only from the crimes committed in Livingston County.
The trio is currently being held in the Livingston County Jail.
Daily Mail reports that Newton is currently being held without bail because of previous felony charges. Both women had bail set at $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond.
[Feature Photo: Monroe County Sheriff’s Office]