Philadelphia man accused of stealing homes, empty plots from the dead

Authorities say a man forged deeds to steal six properties and homes, including some from the deceased, in a burgeoning Philadelphia neighborhood.

Robert Stokes was charged Friday with theft, forgery and tampering with records.

The Philadelphia District Attorney's office says the 50-year-old Stokes transferred bogus deeds that had forged signatures. They found the notary stamp and deeds were counterfeit.

In three of the six cases, the property owners were dead. Some owners were elderly people. All six properties or homes are on two streets in the Point Breeze neighborhood.

Officials say all the transactions were conducted in August 2017.

Records show Stokes previously served time in a drug-dealing case.

A message seeking comment was left with a public defender listed for Stokes.