Former "Most Wanted Wednesday" Suspect Arrested in Massachusetts
Santa Barbara - April 7th, 2016
A felony fugitive and former “Most Wanted Wednesday” suspect featured on the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page this past January is in custody in Massachusetts. Following an investigation by the Sheriff’s Felony Fugitives Unit and with the assistance of the Truro and Norwell Police Departments, 48-year-old Julie Cromer was arrested yesterday, April 6, 2016 at a residence in Norwalk, Massachusetts.
Cromer was convicted of financial elder abuse in Santa Barbara County and failed to appear to her sentencing on October 23, 2015. Cromer would have been sentenced to 60 days in custody, placed on felony probation and ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution. The amount of theft was believed to be much higher but because the victim unexpectedly passed away before the completion of the case, the additional thefts could not be proven.
The victim in this case was a 77-year-old Santa Barbara resident whom Cromer met at a pug dog rescue event in 2007, six years prior to the commission of the crimes in 2013 and 2014. Cromer told the victim she was a struggling photographer. The two became friends and Cromer would visit the victim in Santa Barbara several times a year. Eventually the victim started to pay Cromer’s travel expenses and her expenses during her stay. The victim opened a credit card in Cromer’s name to use for the visits but unbeknownst to the victim, Cromer opened a second credit card in her name. She used the credit card to pay for airline tickets, hotels, car rentals, restaurants and retail purchases in Texas, Arizona and Massachusetts. These unauthorized purchases were all paid for by Cromer using the victim’s checking account. To hide this fact, she had the mailing address changed for both the credit card and bank statements so that they were sent directly to her. Fortunately, the bank manager at Northern Trust Bank in Santa Barbara noted the suspicious banking activity and contacted authorities.
When Cromer failed to appear for her sentencing, a warrant was issued for her arrest. The Sheriff’s Felony Fugitives Unit began investigating her whereabouts and discovered she had traveled out of the country for approximately one month after failing to appear in court. During her flight from justice, she continued to post updates on her status and travels on her Facebook page. The investigation also revealed she was likely residing on the east coast in Massachusetts. The Sheriff’s Felony Fugitives Unit coordinated with Massachusetts authorities to take her into custody at her residence.
Upon her arrest yesterday, she was transported to court and booked at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution-Framingham. She will be extradited back to California upon either her waiver of extradition or through the issuance of a governor’s warrant. Cromer’s failure to appear constitutes an additional felony charge which the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office will be filing when she is returned to Santa Barbara County. If convicted, Cromer could face additional jail time beyond the 60 days in county jail that will be imposed on the elder abuse charge.
While public assistance was not relevant in this particular case, the Sheriff’s Office appreciates the public’s help locating felony fugitives from justice. A weekly most wanted suspect is posted every Wednesday on our Facebook page. We also routinely post a list of most wanted suspects on our Facebook page and on our website at www.sbsheriff.org
For Media Inquires Contact PIO Kelly Hoover
Business Hours: (805) 681-4100