MIAMI – A Colombian woman was arrested at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Wednesday after she was accused of stealing more than $32,000 worth of jewelry from a man she came to visit in Miami after the two had chatted online.
According to a Miramar police report, the victim spent two months getting to know Marielys Valencia Martinez, who turns 39 on Saturday, before meeting her in person in Dec. 2021, when she flew to Miami to visit him.
Police said on Dec. 4, the victim picked up Martinez from her Miami hotel room and the two went to a restaurant.
Investigators wrote that after parking his car and seeing a sign urging drivers to remove their valuables from their vehicles, the victim took out a clear plastic bag containing two diamond rings and a diamond bracelet, which attracted Martinez’s attention.
Police wrote that during dinner, Martinez asked the victim to see and wear the jewelry, wanted to know how much it was worth and asked how much he would sell it for.
The man didn’t give Martinez many details but allowed her to wear the jewelry for the night, police said. The two went to a nightclub and then returned to the victim’s house, where Martinez returned the items.
Police said the victim put the rings and bracelet in a jewelry box on a shelf.
Sometime between 3 and 5 a.m. the next morning, Martinez woke the victim and requested he take her back to the hotel, the report states.
Police said before leaving, the victim saw the jewelry box sitting on the shelf, but, unbeknownst to him, it no longer contained the jewelry.
Martinez flew back to Colombia later that day. Two or three days later, the victim told police she posted videos on Instagram and TikTok wearing the jewelry.
According to the report, the victim wrote Martinez on WhatsApp asking she return the jewelry, but Martinez told him it cost too much money to mail the items to the United States and she would return the jewelry when she returned to Miami in February.
“The jewels are here with me(.) I do not want to spend my money sending anything less after being threatened by the police with jail and with my visa,” police said Martinez wrote back. “(U)ntil I enter the United States without problems(,) I will not return anything.”
“It’s simple, here are the jewels. I want to return them, why can’t you wait for me to return?” she also said, according to the report. “What you (sic) f---ing problem.”
Martinez never did come back to Miami, police said, but she did fly into Fort Lauderdale Wednesday, where BSO deputies arrested her. As of Friday, she was in custody at the Paul Rein Detention Facility in Pompano Beach on an immigration hold.
She faces a second-degree grand theft charge.
The report doesn’t mention whether the victim got his jewelry back.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect the suspect’s correct age.