Police arrest duo for taking advantage of elderly couple

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A married couple's nest egg was apparently spent by two people who were supposed to be caring for them.

Police worry the so-called caregivers may be ripping off other elderly people.

The victims' home on 44th Ave. N., in Kenneth City, is empty now. Glenn Haywood died of ALS in April of 2016. His wife, Dianna died of cancer three months later. 

Crystal Dize met them at church and later became their power-of-attorney.

"They were older," she said. "They had issues, but they were good people."

Meanwhile, Jeff Shabaz and Brenda Metzler were paid to run their errands, give baths, and help around the house, according to police.

Charging documents say, at some point, the duo convinced Brenda to give them power over her bank account. 

Police say she lacked the mental capacity to make complex decisions.

"She didn't have that ability to say no," said Dize, "or to know that this was something she shouldn't do."

Police say they spent $25,000 on plastic surgery, $1,300 on furniture, and even $7,500 for a wedding reception at Ruth Eckerd Hall, complete with an Elvis impersonator. 

Police say the total take was $90,000.

"There are a lot of people, especially in Florida, they are older, and if you have younger people, taking advantage of them, that's scary," said Dize.

After a four-year investigation, Shabaz and Metzler were arrested, but have already bonded out of jail. They are charged with exploiting the disabled or elderly, which is a felony. 

FOX 13 attempted but was not able to immediately reach them. Police are worried there may be more victims who don't realize they're being bilked.

"The Haywoods had no family, they had no children who were constantly checking on them," said Dize. "I think maybe they were just easy."

If you have any information or think you may be or know a victim, give Kenneth City police a call.