Westchester County DA's Office

Burglar Used Obituaries To Target Families Who Were Attending Funerals

Premeditated crimes get harsher sentences because they require planning and intent, whereas crimes of opportunity are often committed on impulse (think first-degree vs. second-degree murder).

It is terrifying to think that someone may choose victims to commit an offense against at random, but it is even more terrifying that someone would choose victims specifically because of their vulnerability.

Between fall 2017 and spring 2018, there were a series of house robberies in Westchester, New York.

Instagram | @mariasor

Theft occurs in every community to some degree, but these robberies had an odd factor that connected them all:

Each home had been robbed while the family was attending the funeral of a loved one who had passed away.

Latonia Shelecia Stewart has been indicted on a number of charges in connection with all six robberies.

The Charlotte Observer

The 26-year-old is accused of allegedly stealing jewelry and personal items from the homes of mourning families and their dead relatives during funeral services.

After recovering a mallet from her car, police suspect that she used the mallet to break glass windows, which allowed her entry into the homes.

To scope out victims, Stewart used obituaries in the local paper.

Instagram | @trillpapidee

She allegedly read through obituaries each week, then targeted families who would be attending wakes or services during the times listed in the paper.

Stewart faces a number of felony charges.

Instagram | @wheelsofhonor

They include 22 counts of burglary, grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, petit larceny, criminal mischief, possession of burglar’s tools and three motor vehicle violations.

She was caught breaking into the home of a deceased person on May 1st 2018.

Instagram | @rlt.archetecture

The police report states that Stewart had a picture of the person's obituary on her phone, and her baby in the back seat of her vehicle.

She is due back in court on August 13th 2019.

Westchester County DA's Office

Police have yet to release any statements regarding how much prison time Stewart could potentially be facing.

h/t: New York Post