Volusia sheriff’s detectives have an arrest warrant out for a theft suspect who stole an engagement ring and wedding bands from his girlfriend in Orange City and used them to propose to his other girlfriend in Orlando.
Joseph L. Davis, 48 (DOB 10/24/1972), who went by “Joe Brown” with one girlfriend and “Marcus Brown” with the other, is wanted on a felony charge of grand theft. His current address and whereabouts are unknown.
Earlier this year, the Orange City woman came forward and told detectives that she discovered her boyfriend was actually engaged to someone else. 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.
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 confronted “Brown” about the thefts. She also began communicating with the fiancée and got some of her belongings back. With both relationships over due to the infidelity, the victims began cooperating with each other and with detectives.
The Orlando fiancée described how “Brown” had fooled her, too – even taking her to the Orange City girlfriend’s house while she was at work, claiming the house was his, and asking her to move in with him.
She told detectives she packed up her apartment, disassembled her furniture and was ready to move until one day, he told her the deal fell through.
The fiancée also reported a laptop and jewelry were missing from her apartment after “Brown” moved out and disappeared.
Both women reported they met “Brown” on the same dating app, OKCupid, in 2015 and 2016. But neither had his real name. When detectives searched databases and shared photos of “Brown” with other law enforcement agencies in hopes of identifying him, they came up empty.
However, the fiancée 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 a Joseph Louis Davis, whose photos matched the photos provided by both victims.
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.
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.
Anyone with information about Davis’ whereabouts is asked to 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.
– Volusia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Andrew Gant