Woman accused of theft at SE Houston cemetery suspected in up to 11 other cases, investigators say

Miya Shay Image
Wednesday, April 10, 2024
Woman accused of theft at cemetery now suspect in up to 11 other cases
Latoya White is accused of stealing from a grieving mother while the victim was cleaning her daughter's grave at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery. Now, police are looking at 11 similar cases she may be tied to.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston woman arrested for allegedly stealing a grieving mother's purse at a Lawndale/Wayside cemetery is now suspected in up to 11 similar cases on the city's westside.

Last week, ABC13 broke the story that Gabriella Mackin's purse was stolen from her car while she cleaned her daughter's grave at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery.

Just minutes after that theft, video was captured at a nearby Walgreens of a woman wearing an orange shirt, allegedly using Mackin's credit cards.

On Monday, Harris County Precinct 6 deputy constables arrested Latoya White, charging her with credit card abuse and motor vehicle burglary.

On Tuesday, Precinct 5 deputy constables told ABC13 that White is being charged with three westside cases. Investigators believe White allegedly broke into cars of people parked at Memorial Oaks Cemetery and Bill Archer Dog Park.

In addition, investigators added that she's the prime suspect in at least eight other theft cases, all taking place within the past six months.

Precinct 5 investigators provided Eyewitness News with surveillance video that they said showed White allegedly using several victims' credit cards.

In one video, White is seen wearing a pink outfit and swiping credit cards at a store. She is then captured at several locations wearing a green hat and a black T-shirt. Multiple videos show White walking, shopping, and then checking out at a Target.

"I think when people steal like this, they think about themselves," Mackin said, responding to the multitude of new charges. "They don't think what other people are dealing with in their own personal lives."

Mackin said she was relieved to hear White was arrested on Monday. But so far, investigators have not located her late daughter's ID, the one possession Mackin wants returned.

In court, a magistrate judge set White's bond at $25,000.

"I am going to decline personal bonds because I do have public safety concerns," the justice said on video. "Given you are already out on two bonds and picked up two new charges."

As White remains in jail for now, investigators are pursuing an additional suspect. Precinct 6 believes White either gave or sold Mackin's ID to a second woman. That woman was seen on video, withdrawing money using Mackin's ID from her bank account over the weekend.

The Harris County Precinct 6 Constable's Office released a photo of a woman believed to have gotten a hold of the ID of Gabriella Mackin's daughter.

"It's really upsetting," Mackin, who also had to close her bank accounts, said.

In all, White could be facing charges in up to a dozen theft cases. She is officially charged in five active cases.

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ORIGINAL STORY: Mom's purse swiped from her car at Forest Park Cemetery while tending to daughter's grave

Gabriella Mackin said her purse was stolen while she visited her daughter's Forest Park Cemetery gravesite. She said the thief has made purchases.