BRONX, NEW YORK — During various families’ times of mourning, this woman figured those opportunities were ripe for home invasion.
According to NBC 4 – New York, 26-year-old Latonia Shelecia Stewart made a point to read the obituaries in Westchester County. However, police say she wasn’t mourning over dead friends or family. Instead, Stewart was plotting new targets for theft.
— NY Justice Seeker 🥓 (@NYJusticeSeeker) May 7, 2018
The source points out that Greenwich police were put on alert due to a string of burglaries in the area over the last several months. Reportedly, authorities issued warning to residents around the end of March:
“Have someone stay at home when you attend a funeral.”
John J. Slusarz of the Greenwich Police mentioned that criminals also read newspapers. Specifically, many in the area were reading in order to “get whatever intelligence they can gather,” Slusarz told Greenwich Time.
“Someone passes away… the funeral time is listed; it can be assumed the house is vacant,” he further elaborates.
BUT LATONIA DIDN’T CARE
According to authorities, Stewart would regularly “read obituaries, find the names of the decease’s next-of-kin,” then break into the home while family attended the funeral, as reports WPIX 11.
Police called it “a distinct residential burglary pattern throughout various areas within Westchester County,” according to the source. Fortunately, New York State Police had information on a potential suspect’s car, which happened to be a silver Acura MDX. It was Stewart, of course.
Once state police provided this information to local authorities, officers decided to set a trap for Latonia. The Charlotte Observer reports as follows.
“Police say officers waited outside a home of a recently deceased resident and spotted a car that matched the description they’d been given. Police pulled over the car and found Stewart inside with property that had been reported stolen from a home back in February, according to the Bronx News.”
With evidence on her person, Latonia Stewart was charged with possession of stolen property and conspiracy to commit burglary.
Although she hadn’t been convicted of the crimes yet, she was released on bond according to the source.
THERE ARE MORE CASES LIKE HERS
The Charlotte Observer mentions another situation similar to Latonia’s within its publication.
“It’s not the first time an alleged burglar has used the obituary section to find targets,” the source states. “A Massachusetts man dubbed the ‘Obit Bandit’ was arrested earlier this year for robbing homes as families attended funerals.”
“Over the years, strings of similar burglaries have occurred across the country, including in Belleville, Illinois, and several counties in northwest Indiana,” the Observer notes.
So, as it appears, this is somewhat of a growing trend among thieves. It’s definitely a shame these particular suspects have no moral compass to guide them away from committing such heartless acts.
How can they sleep at night, knowing full-well they just robbed people who were paying their last respects to their loved ones?
You’ve got to be a different kind of “sick” to do something like that, yes?
All in all, let us know your thoughts about this story. Has anything like this ever happened to you or someone you know? If you have any comments, feel free to share them via our Facebook page.
NOTE: If you haven’t done so already, be sure to change Facebook notifications for The Black Loop to “See First,” so you don’t miss any breaking news or important stories.
[Featured Photo via Twitter]