NEW YORK - A Bronx woman was sentenced to spend at least 11 years in prison for burglarizing homes in New York while families were attending funerals for relatives.
Latonia Stewart, 30, was found guilty last month of burglarizing six homes between 2017 and 2018. A judge sentenced her on Monday.
Stewart had faced a sentence ranging from 3 1/2 years to a maximum of 15 years in state prison on each burglary count. She received a 10-year sentence on each count to run concurrently. In addition, she received a 1-3 year sentence to run consecutively to the 10-year-sentence.
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 online obituaries.
Jewelry, watches, silverware, and other valuables were stolen. Stewart used a sledgehammer to break windows and glass doors to get into some of the homes.
On May 1, 2018, Greenburgh Police arrested Stewart after seeing her driving away from the home of a deceased person with jewelry in her car and the website with an obituary pulled up on her phone.
Following her arrest, police recovered more stolen items and burglar tools in her car and at her Bronx home.
"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," Westchester County District Attorney Miriam Rocah said.