VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Volusia County deputies are looking for a man accused of using a 78-year-old woman’s credit card to purchase around $17,000 worth of items, including 11 guitars.
Deputies said 49-year-old Mystery Shiloh Demarest was given access to the elderly victim’s bank card after she allowed the suspect to move into her home to help her as she cared for her sick husband.
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Demarest is wanted on charges of grand theft and fraudulent use of a credit card dating back to May 2019, when he initially moved in with the victim to help her with chores and household shopping, according to investigators.
“Days after (the victim) first gave Demarest her bank card to use at Publix, large packages started showing up at the house with Demarest’s name on them,” the sheriff’s office said.
According to investigators, Demarest told the victim his girlfriend was responsible for the purchased packages and promised her he would return everything for a refund.
The victim then lost contact with Demarest, and upon checking her bank records, found 11 unrefunded charges at GuitarAttic and Reverb.com, a plane ticket charge, a hotel room charge and a $318 DeLand Extra Space Storage charge, deputies said.
“When the victim checked on the storage unit, she discovered the rent was past due and the unit had gone up for auction online. The victim and her attorney were able to find the auction listing at StorageTreasures.com, with a photo of the opened unit showing several guitar cases and other music equipment inside,” the sheriff’s office said.
Detectives said they obtained a search warrant and found 11 Gibson Les Paul guitars, two Marshall reverb boards, seven large speakers, a drum set and several music stands inside the storage unit.
Deputies are currently searching for Demarest, whose whereabouts are unknown but is believed to be near Raleigh, North Carolina, which is where he traveled three years ago using the victim’s money.