FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – A man accused of using a distraction tactic to snatch a gold chain outside a victim’s home, which he had bragged about in a TikTok video, is now facing a judge.
“Good morning, sir. You’re charged with a robbery by sudden snatch,” said the judge.
Ilie Calin is locked in the Broward County jail and faces robbery charges.
According to Hollywood Police, he’s part of a small group targeting people outside their homes and stealing jewelry.
Mario Rodriguez was one of his victims.
“I see the car make a U-turn here,” Rodriguez said.
The incident happened back in September.
Rodriguez had just finished mowing and was blowing grass when he said Calin and two women pulled over to ask for directions to church.
That’s when, he said, one of the women put a toy necklace around his neck and quickly removed his real one.
“At the same time they’re taking mine off,” Rodriguez said. “I didn’t even know they do that.”
The necklace that once belonged to Rodriguez’s mother was gone in a flash.
“I would say about not even a minute,” he said and laughed.
And police said a similar crime happened the day before, in Dania Beach.
“Mr. Calin is involved with a small group where this type of scam is ongoing in the community,” said a prosecutor.
The group may have gotten away with it, but police said they were boasting about their crimes on TikTok, which led to Calin’s arrest.
“At least they got the guy out of the streets,” Rodriguez said.
Now he hopes that it leads to the return of his mother’s necklace.
“If I can get it back, that would be good, because it belonged to my mom,” he said.
Calin, meanwhile, is dealing with some immigration issues, which will keep him from bailing out of jail.
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