By Terrence McCoy
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By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
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"[Conde] lured me up to the meeting," Abramowitz says.
The South Beach Stone Crabs owner says he and Wright drove to the hotel, but nobody showed, so they split. Shortly before 1:00 p.m., someone stole a $2000 plasma TV set from one of the hotel rooms, according to police.
About 2:00 p.m. Saturday, after returning to his Hibiscus Island home, Abramowitz found a TV set matching the description of the Hyatt's in the outdoor shed at his house. He says he thought it belonged to one of his many tenants who, he contends, occasionally droplift possessions at his place unannounced for safekeeping. With Hurricane Wilma set to hit Miami two days later, Abramowitz says, he didn't think much about the TV.
The next day, October 23, Abramowitz and Wright took off for Orlando to avoid the storm, leaving a side door to the house open so a neighbor could walk the dog. The pair returned a few days later to find a laptop, checkbook, and a 28-inch plasma TV set gone.
While reporting the theft to police, Abramowitz named Conde as a possible suspect. He also mentioned the other TV set, which remained in the shed.
Though Abramowitz says he hadn't heard anything about the hotel theft until The Bitch called him, hotel security found his Miami Beach Golf Club membership card outside the room from which the TV was stolen, and a witness told police he saw a man loading the set into a white Porsche Cayenne the make and model of Abramowitz's ride. The witness gave his name as Karl Cerecke and said he was staying at a nearby Ramada Inn, according to a police report. That hotel has no record of his being a guest there.
It's unclear whether the TV in Abramowitz's shed is the same as the one belonging to the hotel. Hyatt security has yet to find the serial number for the missing set, but none of Abramowitz's tenants has claimed it.
"It could be a setup," says Dirk Lowry, security chief at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66.
Abramowitz is not a suspect in the theft and had not been questioned as of last week, according to Fort Lauderdale Police Det. Brice Brittenum. Although Brittenum declined to discuss the case in detail, he said he had received an anonymous, untraceable fax fingering Abramowitz. The Bitch received an identical anonymous dispatch.
Conde's former colleague in an adhesives venture, Barry Rosenthal, agrees that Conde is a madman, alleging Conde stole Rosenthal's son's Jeep.
"It's a stupid story of petty theft and just, you know, a guy's obsession with a girl," Abramowitz says.