A Toms River man who befriended a 73-year old legally blind woman then used her bank accounts to access money for personal use has plead guilty to Theft by Deception and Criminal Coercion, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer announced on Friday.

Tyler Dietlmeier, 28, of Toms River, faces seven years for the Theft by Deception offense, and four years for Criminal Coercion which run concurrently.

Dietlmeier also has to make restitution to his victim.

An investigation began on January 27 when Toms River Police responded to a residence in reference to a report of fraudulent activity.

Police learned that Dietlmeier had befriended, under false pretenses, a 73-year-old legally blind woman who lived alone.

In October 2019, Dietlmeier opened numerous credit card accounts in the woman’s name without her permission, added his name as an authorized user to her existing accounts, increased the credit limits on existing accounts and changed the phone numbers on some of her accounts so that any fraud alerts from the credit card companies would go directly to him.

Tyler Dietlmeier of Toms River. (Ocean County Prosecutors Office)

Dietlmeier also rented cars using her information and accessed her bank accounts.

In most cases, Prosecutor Billhimer explained that Dietlmeier used the victim’s credit cards to buy gift cards which he turned around and sold them for cash.

Dietlmeier fraudulently obtained in excess of $100,000 overall.

When the woman questioned Dietlmeier about the possibility that he had defrauded her, he allegedly threatened to harm her and her family if she reported anything to law enforcement.

A warrant was then issued for Dietlmeier’s arrest and he was placed in handcuffs by members of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Warrant Division in Plainsboro.

He was transported to and processed at Toms River Police Headquarters, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since the date of his arrest.

“To stoop so low as to take advantage of an elderly person, who also happens to live alone and is legally blind, is about as reprehensible as it gets,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “Let the message be sent that we will not tolerate con artists who prey upon and victimize our seniors and the disabled. We will continue to be vigilant investigating and prosecuting crimes committed against the most vulnerable in our community who, because of their age or disability, simply cannot fight for themselves."

Ocean County Assistant Prosecutors Christopher Heisler, Taylor Toscano, and Timothy Kelly handled the case on behalf of the State.

You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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