Serina Wolfe, 24, is facing a felony charge after she admitted to using her boyfriend’s credit card to leave a $5,000 tip at a restaurant in Clearwater, Florida.
Her boyfriend, Michael Crane, told police that the couple had an argument during their vacation. According to the criminal complaint, Wolfe wanted Crane to buy her a flight home to Buffalo, New York, but he refused. Crane said he believed Wolfe left the enormous tip to get back at him.
The purchase was flagged as fraudulent by the credit card company after Crane reported it. But the restaurant had already paid out the $5,000 to the waitress. It’s unclear if the server will get to keep the money. Wolfe was arrested by Clearwater Police and booked into the Pinellas County Jail.
This is not the first time Wolfe has been accused of stealing. She was arrested in 2017 after police in Tonawanda, New York, said she stole a man’s wallet and hid $500 in cash in her underwear.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Michael Crane Said He Believes Serina Wolfe May Have Been Drunk at the Time & Left the Tip as Revenge
Serina Wolfe is accused of using Michael Crane’s credit card at the Clear Sky Cafe in Clearwater, Florida, on June 27, 2019. Crane told police that he and Wolfe had been fighting during their trip. He says she demanded that he purchase her a new plane ticket back to Buffalo.
Crane said he refused and put a hold on his credit card, according to the criminal complaint. But after he lifted the hold, Wolfe used the card to buy dinner. The dinner was $55.37. Wolfe then added on a $5,000 tip for the waitress.
Crane told police that when he confronted Wolfe about the massive charge, she denied it. He then reported the charge to his credit card company. It was flagged as fraudulent.
Crane told police that he believed Wolfe used his card in order to “get back at him” following the argument about the plane ticket. He also told police that he believes Wolfe could have been drunk at the time.
2. Police: Serina Wolfe Admitted to Leaving the $5,000 Tip During an Interview With Investigators
Serina Wolfe was arrested on July 1, 2019, by Clearwater Police. The affidavit states that after being read her Miranda rights, Wolfe confessed to using her boyfriend’s credit card for dinner and then leaving the $5,000 tip. She also handed over the credit card to the police.
Wolfe was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on a charge of Grand Theft. Bond was set at $2,000, according to the affidavit. Inmate records show that as of July 3, Wolfe remained behind bars and is awaiting trial.
3. The Waitress Was Grieving Her Dog & the Tip Was Initially Reported By Local Media as a Nice Gesture
The story of the $5,000 tip was initially applauded by media outlets in Florida. ABC affiliate WFTS reported that the waitress at the Clear Sky Beachside Café had been having a sad week. She was identified only by her first name, Ryan.
The TV station reported that Ryan had recently had to put her dog to sleep. She thought the $5,000 tip was a nice gesture from a caring customer.
The Clear Sky Cafe was notified on July 1 that the charge had been deemed fraudulent. The restaurant had already paid out the waitress. It’s unclear if Ryan will get to keep the money.
4. Serina Wolfe Was Accused of Stealing a Wallet in 2017 & Trying to Hide the Cash in Her Underwear
Serina Wolfe was arrested in May of 2017 after leaving a bar in the city of Tonawanda, which is located a few miles north of Buffalo. A man told police that he noticed his wallet was missing after meeting Wolfe at the bar, NBC affiliate WGRZ-TV reported at the time.
Police stopped Wolfe around 4 a.m. a few blocks from the bar. Wolfe denied taking the man’s wallet, but during a search, $520 in cash was discovered stuffed into Wolfe’s underwear. The wallet was later found discarded near a dumpster.
Wolfe faced charges of grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. It’s unclear how the case was resolved; it does not come up in a search of online records.
5. Serina Wolfe Was Arrested in the Summer of 2018 For Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs
Serina Wolfe was arrested on July 17, 2018, around 9 a.m. in Buffalo, New York.
According to public records on the New York State Unified Court System website, Wolfe was charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, along with Criminal Impersonation.
Wolfe was due back in Buffalo City Court on July 8.