VOLUSIA COUNTY, FL – A man who moved into a 78-year-old DeLand woman’s home to help care for her ailing husband is now wanted on fraud and theft charges after he used her bank card to buy close to $17,000 in guitars and musical equipment, along with airfare and a hotel room.
According to authorities, Mystery Shiloh Demarest, 49, is wanted on charges of grand theft and fraudulent use of a credit card in the case, which dates back to May 2019. That’s when the victim allowed Demarest to move into her home to help with chores and do some household shopping while she was caring for her husband.
Days after she first gave Demarest her bank card to use at Publix, large packages started showing up at the house with Demarest’s name on them. Demarest explained his girlfriend must be responsible, and he’d return everything for a refund. The victim believed Demarest, but then lost contact with him.
When the victim checked her bank records, she noticed 11 charges at GuitarAttic and Reverb.com (none of them refunded), plus a plane ticket and a hotel room, all charged to her card.
One other charge on the list jumped out: A payment of $318.93 at Extra Space Storage in DeLand, made days after Demarest had said was returning everything.
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.
Detectives obtained a search warrant for the storage unit and recovered 11 Gibson Les Paul guitars, 2 Marshall reverb boards, 7 large speakers, a drum set and several music stands.
Demarest’s current whereabouts are unknown, although he may be in the Raleigh, N.C., area, which is where he traveled in 2019 using the victim’s money.