‘Obituary thief’ burglarized grieving families’ homes as they attended funerals: Police

A New York woman is accused of using obituary columns to determine her next burglary target.

The Journal News reported that Latonia Shelecia Stewart, 26, was arrested last week in Greenburgh. Police said they have reason to believe Stewart was behind a string of break-ins throughout Westchester County.

According to WPIX, the Bronx woman is accused of targeting next-of-kin listed in obituaries. The Bronx News wrote that all these obituaries included detailed funeral information.

In late March, local police advised residents to have someone stay at their home if they planned to attend a funeral.

“Criminals read the newspaper, too, to get whatever intelligence they can gather,” Greenwich Police spokesman John J. Slusarz told Greenwich Time. “Someone passes away, the funeral time is listed, it can be assumed the house is vacant.”

READ More: HEARTLESS! ‘Obituary thieves’ invade elderly widow’s home while she attends husband’s funeral service

Last Tuesday, detectives surveilled a deceased Greenburgh resident’s home and spotted a car matching the description of suspect’s car circulated by New York State Police. This led them to pull over Stewart’s silver Acura MDX, where they reportedly uncovered property from a February 22 burglary in Irvington.

The 26-year-old was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and criminal possession of stolen property. She has since been released on bond.

It’s not immediately clear where else Stewart is suspected of committing burglaries.


[Featured Image: Latonia Shelecia Stewart/Greenburgh Police Department]