Bronx woman guilty of targeting homes to rob while families attended funerals

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Roses in cemetery with people in the background. Funeral in cemetery; White roses in cemetery. Prayer at the tomb. Funeral ceremony. White roses at funeral near the grave.

WESTCHESTER, NY – Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah announced that after a week-long trial, a jury on Thursday found Bronx resident Latonia Stewart guilty of burglarizing six homes of families she targeted because they were attending funeral services of loved ones between 2017 and 2018.

Stewart, 30, was found guilty on Oct. 14, 2021, of six counts of Burglary in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, both felonies. Stewart faces a sentence range from a minimum of 3 1/2 years to a maximum of 15 years in a state prison on each burglary count.

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. Stewart targeted the homes after searching through obituaries online. Jewelry, watches, silverware and other valuables were stolen. Stewart used a sledge hammer 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, Greenburgh Police arrested Stewart after observing her driving away from the home of a deceased person with jewelry in the vehicle and the website with an obituary pulled up on her cellphone. Following her arrest, police recovered more stolen items and burglar’s tools in her car and at her Bronx residence.

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The Greenburgh Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office investigated the case, with assistance from the New York State Police, Greenwich Police Department, Ossining Police Department, Rye Brook Police Department, Scarsdale Police Department, and Tarrytown Police Department.

“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,” DA 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.”

The case is before Judge David Zuckerman in Westchester County Court and is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Stefanie DeNise and Assistant District Attorney Michelle Calvi. Stewart is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 22, 2021.