Florida police are on the hunt Friday for a convicted felon accused of stealing an engagement ring and wedding bands from his girlfriend and then using the jewelry to propose to another lover.
Joseph L. Davis — a 48-year-old who went by the aliases “Joe Brown” and “Marcus Brown” to separate women in Orange City and nearby Orlando, respectively — has a warrant out for his arrest by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office on a felony charge of grand theft. Police say both women have since dumped Davis after learning of the infidelity and are working with investigators and each other to help bring him into custody.
“Earlier this year, the Orange City woman came forward and told detectives that she discovered her boyfriend was actually engaged to someone else,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “When she looked up the fiancée’s Facebook page, she noticed a photo of her wearing a wedding band and engagement ring that was identical to her own, from a prior marriage.”
Police say the Orange City woman then checked her jewelry box and discovered her rings were missing, including a diamond one belonging to her grandmother. They estimated the value of the stolen property to be about $6,270.
The woman was able to retrieve some of the items after reaching out to the Orlando woman. But even she, police say, was victimized by Davis.
During the investigation, the Orlando woman told detectives that Davis took her to the Orange City woman’s home while she was at work, claiming it to be his own and asking her to move in there with him, according to the sheriff’s office. She reportedly agreed, but after packing her apartment up and disassembling her furniture, Davis then told her the deal fell through, police say.
Davis eventually vanished, and the Orlando woman reported a laptop and jewelry missing from her own apartment.
The sheriff’s office says both women met Davis on the dating app OKCupid in 2015 and 2016, where he was using his “Brown” aliases.
“Davis, it turned out, had a record as a convicted felon out of Oregon and North Carolina, and has an active arrest warrant out of Oregon for a hit and run crash with injuries,” the sheriff’s office said in the statement. “His prior arrests include possession of fictitious ID, filing a false police report, domestic assault and possession of cocaine with intent to sell.”
Investigators say Davis also has a tattoo of a cross with the words “Only God can judge me” on his left arm – something both women recall seeing.
Police are asking anyone with information on his current whereabouts to come forward.