Southbridge woman charged with theft during mother’s funeral

EAST BROOKFIELD – A Southbridge woman has been charged with breaking into her deceased mother’s home and, with the help of a local man, allegedly stealing a safe filled with items worth $90,000.

Police said the theft took place Friday  while family members were at the mother’s funeral.

Alyce H. Davenport, 30, and Diron Conyers, 27, both of 44 Coombs St., Southbridge, appeared Monday in Western Worcester District Court facing seven counts related to the alleged theft. The charges were lodged after Thomas Baillet told police he had discovered that someone had broken into the home during the funeral of his fiancée, Audra Johnson, mother of Ms. Davenport.

At Mr. Baillet’s home, Officer Shawn Morin found that a safe had been removed from inside a locked bedroom, court documents state. The bedroom door frame was damaged, Officer Morin wrote, adding Ms. Davenport was a suspect and had recently been ordered out of the home for using drugs.

She did not attend her mother’s funeral and was not answering calls from family members, police wrote.

Warren police alerted other departments to be on the lookout for Ms. Davenport, Mr. Conyers and a blue Honda Civic they were believed to be driving. The car was registered to the late Ms. Johnson, police said.

Southbridge police spotted the car Saturday on the side of the road and discovered the safe in the trunk, court documents show. Officers said Ms. Davenport slammed the trunk shut when they attempted to look inside. Police seized the safe and left, later notifying Warren police that they believed they had found some of the missing items.

Warren police learned that Mr. Conyers and Ms. Davenport were staying at a Sturbridge motel, and after learning of the contents of the damaged safe, officers went to the motel.

In the motel room, officers found jewelry, keys, cellphones, a real estate contract relating to the address from which the safe had been stolen, and a checkbook reported stolen from a home in Southington, Conn.

Police said Mr. Conyers appeared to have been using cocaine. Evidence of the drug was visible on a dresser, police wrote.

A search of the car turned up legal documents, a money bag with coins valued at $5,000, a bag of knives, and jewelry.

Police said they were familiar with Ms. Davenport, who is also a suspect in the theft of life insurance checks paid to her brother after their father’s death.

“Alyce also has a history of larceny, identity theft and forgery,” the police report states.

Mr. Conyers has a criminal history including charges of armed robbery; court documents show he has a lengthy police record.

In court Monday, Ms. Davenport was held on $15,000 bail. Mr. Conyers was held without bail because of a warrant from another court. Both are due back in court Feb. 6 for a pretrial hearing.


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