Christopher Snow and Kelly A. Shea of Dania Beach, Florida were arrested Wednesday for allegedly defrauding 94-year-old Agnes Mercurio out of an excess of $7,000, news sources report. Snow, 38, is reportedly Mercurio’s grandson, and Shea, 31, is his girlfriend. The pair was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on charges of exploitation of the elderly for less than $20,000. Snow faces additional charges of resisting an officer without violence, dealing in stolen property, false ownership of pawned items, and violating probation for a drug offense. Snow is being held without bond for the parole violation; Shea’s bond was set at $140,000. Reports did not say whether the duo has hired an attorney.
The alleged thefts occurred from November 30 to January 26. According to reports, Mercurio had been paying her grandson, Snow, to do household tasks at her home in Dania Beach. However, Snow reportedly accepted checks from Mercurio without completing the chores. In addition, Snow allegedly stole a number of checks from Mercurio. In all, Snow reportedly made off with 28 checks. Snow and Shea allegedly cashed the checks for a total of $7,320. The couple reportedly used the money to buy drugs.
Some of the $7,000 had been meant for Mercurio’s future funeral costs, reports indicate. “I didn’t think he would do this to me,” Mercurio told reporters. “So much money went so fast.” It is unclear whether detectives were able to recover any of the allegedly stolen funds.
Detectives say Snow also stole a generator and BOSE radio from his mother, Gail Mercurio, in February. “It’s totally devastating because I know he’s looking at a lot of [jail] time, but I know it’s an illness,” Gail Mercurio told reporters. “We put him in rehab programs and tried everything. You believe their lies.”
In other theft-related news, Sean Allen Mulligan of St. Augustine was arrested Saturday after he was accused of stealing and crashing a Honda, reports say. Mulligan, 39, was booked into the Flagler County Inmate Facility on charges of grand theft auto and resisting arrest without violence. A judge ordered that he be held in lieu of $12,500 bail bond. It is unclear whether Mulligan hired legal aid.
According to reports, Mulligan stole a four-door Honda, then crashed the car at about 3:30 Saturday morning along North Old King Road. Carolyn Patricia Thornburg, his girlfriend, was in the car at the time. An officer reported that Mulligan tried to flee the scene. “[Mulligan] at first put his hands in the air and then began to pace… [he] walked to the front of the vehicle and then ran north on Old Kings Road up to the overpass,” the responding officer said. “I commanded him to stop several times and he continued to run.”
Thornburg, Mulligan’s girlfriend, purportedly told officers that Mulligan said he had stolen the car. She also reported that he had intended to flee when officers arrived, and that he had suggested that she hide.
The responding officer used his police dog to track Mulligan down to some heavy brush in the woods. Before booking Mulligan, the officer took Mulligan to a nearby hospital to make sure he had not been injured in the crash. “While on the way to the hospital, Sean Mulligan stated ‘peace, love and happiness,’ amongst many other things including, ‘I shouldn’t have ran,'” the officer apparently later stated.