By Jeff Gallatin
A Cleveland man and a female friend of his have been indicted for allegedly stealing and using the credit cards of a 76-year-old North Olmsted woman after gaining her trust while she was staying in an assisted living facility after her house suffered extensive fire damage.
Both Thomas Voelzow, 47, and Megan Frame, 29, were indicted by the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury Jan. 17 on charges of identity fraud, theft of credit cards, misuse of credit cards and theft from a bank. The charges specified that the offenses were committed against a senior, which made them more severe, police said. Frame was already in custody on other charges, while authorities noted Voelzow has not turned himself in as promised, Bay Village Police Detective Jay Elish said.
Both are scheduled to be arraigned next week. If Voelzow does not show, an arrest capias will be issued and he will be picked up by officers, officials said.
Elish said the duo initially came into contact with the woman after her home was damaged in a fire in 2011.
“She needed a handyman to take care of different items for her after the fire,” Elish said. “He started taking care of different things for her and gained her trust by doing that.”
Elish said Voelzow would go to see the woman while she was staying at Bradley Bay’s assisted living facility because of the fire at her home.
“While he was doing that, he learned the location of her credit cards,” Elish said. “After that, he took the credit cards.”
Once , the duo had the credit cards, they went shopping with them, Elish said.
“They ran up $1,125 in charges on the cards at different places, but we’ve been able to track them,” he said.