Salesman charged with theft, fraudulent use of credit card

A door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman faces theft charges for allegedly cleaning out the bank account of an elderly acquaintance who has since died.

Andrew Charles Pierce, 31, appeared Wednesday via live video link with Jackson County Circuit Court to hear charges of first-degree theft and criminal mistreatment, identity theft and fraudulent use of a credit card. Medford police arrested Pierce Tuesday afternoon at the deceased victim's Sams Valley home, said Sgt. Mike Budreau.

Pierce met the 70-year-old victim several months ago while selling vacuums door to door, Budreau said. Pierce ingratiated himself with the man and soon started stealing checks from him, Budreau said, adding that 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 personal expenses, Budreau said. When the man died about a month ago, Pierce used the man's ATM card to withdraw more funds from his account, Budreau said. The Medford bank branch alerted police to the suspected crime.

The victim died of confirmed natural causes, Budreau said. Nearly $10,000 had been taken from his bank account, he added.

Medford police are still looking for a 28-year-old woman believed to be an acquaintance of Pierce who also used the elderly man's ATM card. She faces charges of first-degree theft, identity theft and fraudulent use of a credit card, according to Circuit Court records.

Pierce, who previously listed an east Medford address, is awaiting trial in several other criminal cases that allege methamphetamine possession and that Pierce — as a convicted felon — unlawfully possessed firearms. Convicted in 2001 of manufacturing marijuana, Pierce was sentenced to a month in the Jackson County Jail and three years on probation.

He remained in jail Wednesday in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail

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