Flagler woman accused in scheme to steal by ‘distracting elderly women’

Megan Steele, 42, faces charges of credit card fraud and larceny

Mugshots of Megan Steele, 42, at the Volusia County Jail (left) and St. Johns County Jail (right) (Volusia County Jail and St. Johns County Jail)

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – A Flagler County woman was taken into custody on Wednesday after deputies said she was involved in “systematic scheme” to steal from elderly women.

On March 24, deputies were called to a Publix at 4950 Belle Terre Pkwy. around 2:46 p.m. after reports of a larceny, according to an affidavit.

Upon arrival, it was discovered that a man and woman had shown up to the store earlier that afternoon, following an elderly woman around the store for about five minutes, deputies said.

Eventually, the woman — later identified as 42-year-old Megan Steele — asked the elderly woman for help with reading a label, the affidavit shows.

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During this time, the man — later identified as 58-year-old Robert Lohori — took the elderly woman’s $150 wallet from her shopping cart, deputies added.

Deputies said that the wallet didn’t contain any credit cards, but it did hold the woman’s Medicaid card, Humana card, $25 in cash and a paper with the social security numbers for herself and her dead husband.

According to the sheriff’s office, Steele and Lohori had been seen in a Town and Country minivan with an Illinois tag.

The next day, St. Johns County deputies found the suspect vehicle fleeing from law enforcement, and the minivan crashed into three patrol cars before Steele and Lohori were taken into custody, deputies announced.

A search warrant of the minivan yielded a firearm, roughly $20,000 to $30,000 in gift cards, multiple forms of identification and credit cards, according to law enforcement.

It was later found that both Steele and Lohori were involved in “an organized and systemic scheme to commit theft and subsequent fraud by distracting elderly women,” investigators said.

Steele was extradited to the Volusia County Jail on Wednesday.

She a charge of scheming to defraud in the Volusia County case and is held on a bond of $40,000. In St. Johns County, she also faces charges of credit card fraud, larceny and possession of a weapon by a felon and was held on bond of $45,000.

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.