Public Information Office
Update: 06/23/17 - 6:05 p.m.
Detectives have obtained an arrest warrant for Sharlene H. Sadler (DOB 2/15/1963) on charges of organized scheme to defraud, grand theft and dealing in stolen property. Sadler, 54, is believed to be the caller who convinced the 96-year-old victim in this case to place her debit card in her mailbox. The other defendant in this case, 35-year-old Samara McCastler, is in the Volusia County Branch Jail on $125,000 bail.
FRAUD SUSPECT CHARGED WITH STEALING $17,000 FROM 96-YEAR-OLD DELTONA WOMAN – AND UPGRADING FROM CHEVY TO LEXUS
An Orlando scam artist who stole more than $17,000 from a 96-year-old Deltona woman and made a down payment on a Lexus SUV was arrested Wednesday after sheriff’s detectives traced her transactions and used store surveillance video to identify her.
Samara L. McCastler, 35 (DOB 5/20/1982), is charged with organized scheme to defraud, grand theft and fraudulent use of a credit card. Deputies learned of the case at the end of May, when a caregiver reported $17,223.99 in unauthorized charges to the victim’s bank account.
Detectives learned the victim had received a phone call on Friday, May 26, from an unknown woman who claimed to be with Wells Fargo. The caller told the victim she would be receiving a new debit card, and to put her debit card in an envelope and place it outside in the mailbox. She did, and she also gave the caller her PIN number and last four numbers of her Social Security number, believing she was talking to a bank employee.
By that Sunday, the $17,000-plus in charges were already stacked up.
The charges included thousands charged at Walmart stores in Orange City and Orlando. Upon discovery, the victim’s caregiver froze the accounts and deactivated the debit card. That prompted another strange phone call to the victim on Wednesday, May 31, with an unknown woman identifying herself as “Ella Wilson” and asking what happened to her debit card. The victim replied, “You have my debit card and took my money!” and hung up on her.
Meanwhile, sheriff’s detective Julian Elmazi was already tracking down the suspect. Elmazi checked the transactions – which included purchases of Visa gift cards and money orders – reviewed Walmart surveillance video and saw the same female suspect making the purchases in Orange City and Orlando. She was carrying the same silver and black purse in each video, and driving a light blue Chevy Malibu. In one video, she was accompanied by two children.
Elmazi also traced the money orders to the place they were used: Auto Express Enterprises on Goldenrod Road in Orlando. The signer was an “S. McCastler,” and the dealership showed video footage that revealed the same female suspect with the same silver-and-black purse and one of the same children with her.
Elmazi learned McCastler’s purchase at the dealership was a 2006 Lexus SUV at a price of $11,999. She made a partial down payment with her money orders and also turned over several identifying documents while completing her credit application.
The detective obtained an arrest warrant for McCastler on Tuesday, and she was located and arrested Wednesday in Orange County. The charges carry a bond of $125,000.
The investigation is continuing into other transactions and additional charges are possible.
Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352
Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151