Volusia County, FL – The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO) is asking for help from the public in locating a man suspected of elderly exploitation and scheming to defraud, and they’re warning the public so others won’t become his victim.
According to the VCSO, Gary Mitchell, 29, goes from home to home offering to resurface driveways for what seems to be a reasonable price. However, after investigating Mitchell’s business dealings, it’s been determined he does shoddy and unprofessional work and financially exploits older, unsuspecting customers.
A judge reviewed findings that detectives presented in court earlier this week and the detectives obtained an arrest warrant charging Mitchell with 2 felony offenses, elderly exploitation and scheming to defraud.
The VCSO reports that Mitchell is accused of soliciting a 90-year-old DeBary woman in January, telling her that her driveway needed resurfacing. She initially declined, but he was so persistent she agreed. When the work was finished, the man told her she owed $3000. She said that was too much money, but eventually wrote him a check.
Later that day, the woman became concerned about the transaction and called the bank to try to stop payment on the check, but it had already been cashed. The check was written to Mitchell, who can be seen on the bank’s surveillence cameras cashing the check. He also provided the bank his driver’s license and thumb print, confirmng it was him.
The VCSO said detectives had Mitchell’s work inspected by construction experts who found that the driveway had only been painted over with a watered-down concrete mix and the material was applied incorrectly, of poor quality and extremely overpriced.
An 88-year-old DeBary man had a similar encounter with someone believed to to be Mitchell. In this case, the suspect tried to charge $3200, but later just agreed to take $40 from him after he complained about the price.
Mitchell was convicted in Arizona of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
Anyone with information about Mitchell or his whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers of Northeast, FL, toll-free, (888) 277-TIPS. Callers to Crime Stoppers remain anonymous and can qualify for a reward of up to $5000.
Photos courtesy of the VCSO.
Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2017.