A Port St. Lucie man turned a construction gig at an upscale Jupiter home into a shopping spree last month, town police say.
Joseph Neal Cox, 33, was working early August at a home in Loxahatchee Reserve North, west of Island Way and north of Indiantown Road. That’s when police say he took thousands of dollars worth of jewelry and a Macy’s credit card from the home. Cox was arrested Wednesday on grand theft charges, jail records show.
The home’s owners first contacted police when Macy’s contacted them about potentially fraudulent charges on their store credit card, according to a police report. Someone had bought shorts, shoes and pants from Macy’s online and at the store’s Treasure Coast Square location.
The card had last been on a dresser in the couple’s bedroom closet, they told police. When they went to look for it the card and thousands of dollars worth of jewelry were missing.
The jewelry included an $11,000 diamond engagement ring, a $3,000 diamond bracelet, a nearly $2,000 gold wedding band, they told police.
The only people who had access to the home were constructors, they said.
Police talked to Cox’ former boss, who said Cox had been let go for rummaging through another customer’s dresser days after the Jupiter incident. The former boss confirmed Cox had been working at the home. The address the fraudulent purchases had been sent to was where Cox had been living, his former boss told police.
The woman who lived in the Jupiter home told police she’d seen one of the workers leaving her bedroom not long before the fraudulent purchases were made. She identified Cox as that man in a photo lineup.
Cox is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail on a $5,000 bond, according to court records.