Salesman sentenced for stealing man's money, identity

A door-to-door vacuum salesman who took an elderly acquaintance to the cleaners was sentenced today to nine months in jail.

Andrew Charles Pierce, 31, pleaded guilty in Jackson County Circuit Court to charges of first-degree forgery, theft, fraudulent use of a credit card and identity theft. He also admitted to possessing firearms after his conviction of a felony, possessing methamphetamine and driving under the influence of the illegal drug.

Pierce met the 70-year-old victim — who has since died — several months ago while selling vacuums door to door, police said. Pierce ingratiated himself with the Sams Valley man and soon started stealing checks from him. Pierce did not have permission to write checks on the man's behalf.

Forging the victim's signature, Pierce used the checks for his own expenses, police said. When the man died two months ago, Pierce used the man's ATM card to withdraw more funds from his account. The Medford bank branch alerted police to the suspected crime.

The victim died of natural causes, said Medford police Sgt. Mike Budreau said. Nearly $10,000 had been taken from the man's bank account.

In addition to jail, Pierce must serve three years on probation and cannot work caring for the elderly during that period.

— Sarah Lemon

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