Earlier this week, a salacious video started making the rounds on social media. In it, a woman books it down a Miami Beach street, tailed by a man with nary a thread of clothing on his body. "Stop her!" he yells. "She's got my Rolex!"
The clip proved irresistible online, and spread quickly across Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. "Because Miami Beach," filmmaker Billy Corben wrote in one tweet.
Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez tells New Times the incident is real — a tourist from California really did run naked after a woman he claimed stole his fancy watch. But it happened almost two years ago, just days after Thanksgiving in 2017.
According to the police report, a 51-year-old Los Angeles man met two nice ladies at Mango's Tropical Cafe in the early morning hours of November 26, 2017. The women offered to accompany him back to his room and give him a massage and he agreed, buying several alcoholic beverages for the group along the way.
When the threesome made it back to his room at a Marriott on Ocean Drive, the man laid facedown on his bed, naked. His new acquaintances began rubbing his back. Then, he felt his Rolex being unclasped from his wrist. He jerked up from the bed just as the women hightailed it for the door.
There was no time to put on a pair of pants. The man saw the thieves disappearing into an elevator, and he ran down the stairs to catch them. Outside the hotel, the pair climbed into a cab. But before the driver could even ask where they wanted to go, the man came chasing after the taxi, yelling about his Rolex.
Together, the cabbie and the victim grabbed one of the women by the strap of her purse, but it broke. Both ladies vanished into the morning, never to be seen again — literally. Rodriguez says the case was closed in March 2018 after the victim was unable to identify the perps in a lineup. (No word on whether he got his Rolex back.)
Rolex-wearing tourists, be warned: This sort of thing is oddly common in these parts. Besides the ring of diamond-nabbing femme fatales who made national headlines in 2014, there were two women busted for a similar scheme in Miami Beach earlier this year, plus a woman who somehow stole $500,000 worth of watches from a Miami man. And, of course, there's the woman who hid several Rolex watches, ahem, in her vagina.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.