DAVIE, Fla. - Davie police are searching for a man who they said stole about $16,000 worth of jewelry from a woman he met at a casino.
According to an incident report, the victim met the man, who she knew as Leonardo or Leo, while she was working as a parimutuel teller at the Big Easy Casino in Hallandale Beach.
Police said the man was a patron at the casino and the two became friendly.
The woman told detectives she eventually allowed Leo to rent a room at her house because she was experiencing some financial hardship.
She said she noticed one of her necklaces was missing after she returned from church on Christmas Eve and asked Leo about it.
Police said he admitted to taking the necklace and said he was going to get money for it to help her.
But the woman said she never saw the money or had her necklace returned to her.
According to the incident report, the woman noticed more pieces of jewelry were missing from her home between Dec. 24 and Jan. 2.
She told detectives she last interacted with Leo on Jan. 2, when he took her to work in her car because he didn't have one.
The woman said he returned to the casino later in the day and gave her her car keys, saying he had to leave to Chicago for business and that he would return Jan. 10.
Police said the woman spoke to Leo on the phone several times but hasn't spoken to him since Jan. 7. As far as she knows, he did not return to South Florida on Jan. 10, authorities said.
Police said Leo's cellphone number has since been disconnected.
According to authorities, Leo's last name possibly starts with "Ruti." He is believed to be about 50 years old.
Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call the Davie Police Department at 954-693-8200.
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