Police: Wilmington couple with dementia scammed out of $20K

Police: Wilmington couple with dementia scammed out of $20K
Sally Courts (left) and Darren Apple (right) were arrested this week by the Wilmington Police Department. (Source: Wilmington Police Department)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Police arrested a couple who are accused of scamming an elderly couple out of more than $20,000.

According to Detective Megan O’Bryan with the Wilmington Police Dept., Darren Apple and Sally Courts operate a pressure washing business, S&S Powerwashing Plus.

O’Bryan said they preyed on a vulnerable, elderly couple in the Echo Farms community. Both the husband, 82, and wife, 80, have dementia.

“I’m not going to put up with it, I’d like to see them in jail and hopefully that will be the end result," said Doug Woodbury, a family member of the victims.

Detective O’Bryan said Apple and Courts offered to pressure wash the couple’s home. The couple paid $3,215 for the service. However, a few days later, Apple returned and took another check for $7,650; a few days later, he returned again and got a check for $9,285.

“They’re saying that the money is gone, so I don’t anticipate getting the money back for my parents, so the next best thing is to put them in jail,” said Woodbury.

The alleged crime was discovered by a neighbor.

Woodbury said the neighbor was taking the couple’s cat to the kennel and when they used the debit card, it was declined. This prompted the neighbor to help the couple check their bank account, when they found out they were actually $1,200 in the negative.

Both were charged Friday with exploiting an elder and obtaining property by false pretense.

Police believe there are other victims of Apple and Courts in Wilmington. If you have any information for officers, call (910) 343-3600.

“Its just horrible," said the son. “I found there were two other people that knew of this guy. One person said their mother two years ago had been taken for 6 thousand dollars from them.”

Calls to S&S Powerwashing Plus reveal the phone number has been disconnected.

Courts is also expected to go to trial in December, on charges of felony larceny by an employee.

According to court documents, Courts is accused of stealing from Winnie’s Tavern while she was an employee at the restaurant. The crimes reportedly happened between February and October 2017.

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