18-year-old Micaela Meada of Lakeland, and her boyfriend, 21-year-old Teofilo Deaza have been charged with Fraudulent use of Credit/Debit Card 3 or More times, Scheming to Defraud, Possession of Stolen Credit Card, Grand Theft from Person over 65, and Criminal Use of Personal Identification. The charges stem from Micaela Meada stealing her grandmother’s Wells Fargo debit card and then using it, along with her boyfriend, to make purchases and withdrawals without her grandmother’s permission. The card was used at a food store ($43.54) and at a Wells Fargo ATM all on the same day for a net loss to the account of $343.54. Fortunately, Wells Fargo noticed the suspicious activity and contacted the 96-year-old woman. The card was deactivated.
Working with the bank, PCSO detectives viewed photographs taken from the video surveillance of the Automatic Teller Machine at the Wells Fargo located at 1414 South Combee Road, Lakeland. Both Micaela Meada and Teofilo Deaza.were in the photographs making the withdrawals. Detectives learned through the investigation that the 96-year-old victim rarely used the ATM card and kept her pin number written down in her purse with the card because she had trouble remembering the number.
Maeda was adopted by the victim’s daughter—the daughter has since passed away. Shortly after Maeda turned 18, she came to stay, off and on, with her grandmother.
“Wells Fargo did a great job acting quickly in this case. It is a pretty low down thing to steal from an elderly person—but especially from a 96-year-old woman who is your adoptive grandmother and who opened her home out of trust and willingness to help. Our detectives did a great job working with the bank to bring a successful conclusion to this case.” --Sheriff Grady Judd