A New York City Medical Examiner’s Office worker stole a Louis Vuitton bag from a dead man he was transporting to the morgue, city prosecutors said.
Trevor Rheams, 49, allegedly swiped the luxury bag from the dead man’s Manhattan home just before he zipped him into the body bag to take to the medical examiner.
According to the criminal complaint, on Aug. 9, 2022, Rheams, a driver for the department, was assigned to drive an official OCME vehicle to transport bodies to the medical examiner’s headquarters in Manhattan.
Rheams arrived at a First Avenue apartment near E. 40th St. in Midtown on Aug. 9 with a colleague to pick up a body.
A New York Police Department officer was in the apartment and their body camera showed a Louis Vuitton bag in the kitchen.
Rheams was alone in the apartment for a brief time as he prepared the body for transport, investigators said.
He was the only person who drove the van that evening, with no one else getting behind the wheel until the next morning.
The next day, another employee cleaned and inspected the vehicle Rheams had used and found a pillowcase on the passenger side floor containing a Louis Vuitton bag with a tag bearing the same last name as the deceased person.
City investigators took Rheams into custody on Oct. 26, charging him with petty larceny and official misconduct, both misdemeanors.
“OCME employees are trusted to handle difficult and sensitive work and their professionalism and integrity are of utmost importance,” Department of Investigation Commissioner Jocelyn Strauber said Tuesday. “This city employee betrayed that trust when he used his access to a decedent’s home and personal belongings to steal a luxury bag.”
Rheams, a Queens resident, began his job at the Medical Examiner’s Office in 2007.