• Owner accused of loaning customer's cars to friends admits he's bipolar, not on his meds

    By: Letisha Bereola

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A law and safety expert says the accused auto body shop owner should face criminal charges.

    An Action News Investigation continues into a local auto shop owner accused of taking customer’s cars on joy rides and loaning them out to friends.

    Oliver Pickett admitted he is bipolar and is not taking his medication. 

    He is under investigation after Debbie and Charlie Mooney filed a police report saying their vehicle was stolen and Pickett is to blame.

    Now Darlene Selmier, another victim, is coming forward.

    “Something needs to happen,” Selmier said.

    Selmier says several months ago she dropped off her car for repairs and paid in advance.

    “He said he was going to order the door,” Selmier said. “Nothing ever happened.”

    She said she was never given her money back.

    Action News Law and Safety Expert Dale Carson says that even though a mental illness may be a factor, Pickett should face criminal charges.

    “Just because you have a mental condition doesn’t mean you’re not guilty of the crime,” Carson said.

    Carson says although this could also be a civil case, police should have evidence to make an arrest.

    “There is certainly a probability and that is all that is required, probable cause that this individual took the car and used it intentionally for another purpose other than simply repair it,” Carson said.

    Meanwhile, Pickett’s family is hoping he finds the help he needs. His family released a statement Thursday.

    "In recent years he has suffered from a mental illness and we have worked tirelessly to find him help. We hope he will soon receive additional assistance to help him regain the trust of his many loyal customers in this community."

    Mental Health America also says it appears Pickett needs some medical attention.

    “He was obviously, was on a very high high … a very high mania doing a lot of erratic things. Very compulsive,” President and CEO Denise Marzullo said.

    Marzullo says if Pickett goes to jail and it is recognized that he is bipolar, he could get the help he needs while in custody.

    “He said that he didn’t like to take his medication and so now he’s going to have to understand there are consequences for not taking that medication. That’s the way it is,” Marzullo said.

    If you or anyone you know needs mental health support, Mental Health America is there to help. To visit their official website, click here.

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