A longtime New York City medical examiner’s office employee has been arrested for allegedly stealing a Louis Vuitton bag from a dead woman he had been assigned to transfer from her home to the agency’s Manhattan headquarters.
Trevor Rheams, a 49-year-old from Jamaica, Queens, is charged with petit larceny and official misconduct, both misdemeanors, in connection with the August theft, which wasn’t publicly revealed until his arrangement in Manhattan criminal court on Tuesday, according to the New York City Department of Investigation, which ran the inquiry.
It came at the behest of the Office of the City Medical Examiner, DOI said.
According to the criminal complaint, Rheams, who has been employed by the city medical examiner’s office since May 2007 and most recently worked as a $49,000-a-year driver for it, was assigned Aug. 9 to take a vehicle to transport various decedents from the places where they died to the office headquarters in Manhattan.
Rheams and a colleague arrived at the Louis Vuitton bag owner’s home, and an NYPD officer’s body camera recorded footage of that bag in the person’s kitchen, according to the criminal complaint. The colleague went to seal the body bag and Rheams was alone in the apartment for a period of time, court documents say.
The following day, another medical examiner’s office employee cleaned and inspected the vehicle that Rheams and the colleague had used and found a pillowcase on the passenger-side floor, the complaint allegations. Inside that pillowcase was a Louis Vuitton bag with a tag bearing the name of the person who died at the house where Rheams had gone.
Rheams has been on modified duty since Aug. 10, the day of that discovery. Attorney information for him wasn’t immediately available. He was released on his own recognition after Tuesday’s arrangement and is due back in court early next year.
The city medical examiner’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.