Former DCF investigator arrested in Flagler, accused of stealing thousands from senior

Spenser Trinkle, 31, surrendered to deputies after warrant issued for his arrest

A former Department of Children and Families investigator turned himself in Sunday after being accused of stealing thousands from a senior victim, according to Flagler County deputies.

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – A former Department of Children and Families investigator turned himself in Sunday after being accused of stealing thousands from a senior victim, according to Flagler County deputies.

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said former DCF Child Protective Investigator Spenser Trinkle, 31, was arrested after fraudulently using Zelle to transfer $3,857 from the victim’s bank account into his own.

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On May 12, deputies said they responded to a call about fraud at a Bank of America in Palm Coast, where the victim went after seeing numerous Zelle transactions being taken out of her checking and savings account and issued to Trinkle.

According to investigators, the victim said she and Trinkle had been friends for years and he frequently helps her with tasks around her home. At the same time, deputies were interviewing the victim, Trinkle called her multiple times, explaining he just saw the funds in her account and would repay her.

Deputies said Trinkle later told them he met the victim through a DCF service call from his previous employer and maintained contact with the victim over the years. He added “he was unsure how the funds were transferred to his account and believed someone hacked his account to send money from the victim’s account to his,” the sheriff’s office said.

Trinkle further denied making the transactions, saying his bank account did not have much money in it and insisted on paying the victim back, according to deputies.

Upon further investigation, a review of the bank statements showed a total of nine Zelle transactions, amounting to nearly $4,000, were transferred from the victim’s account to Trinkle’s between April 26 and May 10, investigators said.

Investigators said Trinkle later admitted the money transferred went toward paying his child’s medical bills and he would pay the victim back using the GoFundMe set up for the child’s health expenses.

DCF reports acquired May 13 showed Trinkle fully admitted to stealing the money.

“And another dirtbag award goes to this guy, whose job is to help protect children while he’s stealing from the elderly,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a news release. “I’m glad he is now a former employee of DCF. Now let’s hope this guy doesn’t get the opportunity to steal from others again and he learns a lesson with his new criminal record!”

Trinkle faces multiple charges, including grand theft and fraudulent use of personal identification information of a person younger than 18 or older than 60.

Deputies said a warrant for his arrest was issued June 7 and he surrendered five days later.

Trinkle was booked into Flagler County jail, where he was later released on a $3,000 bond.


About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.