A New York woman is facing charges after police learned that she used obituaries to target homes for burglary. 26-year-old Latonia Shelecia Stewart was recently caught camping outside of the home a deceased resident in the suburbs of Greenburgh, NY, according to Lohud.
Police reportedly noticed a pattern in the burglaries committed; the homes all belonged to those who’d recently been featured in the local newspaper obituary section as heirs of the deceased. Familial and funeral arrangement details of the deceased were laid out in obituaries so that Stewart could go to the homes of the next of kin. She would burglarize their homes while they were away for the ceremony.
On Tuesday (May 8), cops sat outside the home of a deceased Greenburg resident with a new obituary and awaited suspicious activity. A description of Stewart’s car had been given to the officers. Surely enough she arrived. The car she drove, described as a silver Acura MDX, was parked outside during their patrol. In Stewart’s car, they found stolen property from a February burglary, Times Union reported.
“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.”
Stewart was arrested on charges of burglary conspiracy, possession of stolen property, a misdemeanor, and a felony. Officers are not yet certain about the number of burglaries she is connected to. She was released on bond.