Orange City, FL - An arrest warrant has been issued for a man that Volusia Sheriff's Office investigators say duped two women that he met on the dating app, OKCupid. They say 48-year-old Joseph Davis, who went by “Joe Brown” with one girlfriend and “Marcus Brown” with the other, stole more than $6,000 worth of jewelry from one woman and gave a missing engagement ring to the other.
Davis is wanted on a felony charge of grand theft. The investigation began earlier this year when an Orange City woman came forward and told detectives that she discovered her boyfriend was actually engaged to someone else. She did some of her own investigating, looking up the fiancée’s Facebook page, where she saw a photo of her wearing a wedding band and engagement ring that was identical to her own, from a prior marriage. When she went to check her jewelry box, she discovered her rings were missing. So were several other pieces of jewelry, including a diamond ring that belonged to her grandmother. The total value of property stolen was about $6,270.
The victim said she confronted "Brown" about the thefts and she also started communicating with the fiancee and got some of her belongings back. Both victims cooperated with each other and then with detectives.
The fiancee from Orlando said "Brown" fooled her too and even took her to the Orange City woman's home, saying it was his and asking her to move in with him. The fiancee packed up her apartment, ready to move in with him when he told her "the deal fell through." She discovered her laptop and some jewelry missing after "Brown" moved out of her apartment and disappeared.
Detectives searched databases and shared photos of " Brown" trying to identify him with no luck. The fiancee remembered the name and address of a niece that “Brown” had in North Carolina. With that information, detectives were able to track down a woman who turned out to be the sister of Joseph Louis Davis, whose photos matched the photos provided by both victims.
As it turned out, Davis is a convicted felon in both North Carolina and Oregon with an active arrest warrant out of Oregon for a hit and run crash with injuries. Investigators say his prior arrests include possession of fictitious ID, filing a false police report, domestic assault, and possession of cocaine with intent to sell. In one of his out-of-state booking records from 2014, the jail listed a tattoo described as a cross with “Only God can judge me” on his left arm – identical to the tattoo both victims described their boyfriend/fiancée as having.
If you know Davis, where he is, or if you think you might have been a victim, contact the Volusia Sheriff’s Office at 386-668-3830 and ask for Detective Wheeler. If you want to remain anonymous and qualify for a potential cash reward, you can contact Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 888-277-TIPS, or via the P3 Tips app available at northeastflorida.crimestoppersweb.com