Woman charged with theft after leaving $5,000 tip on boyfriend's credit card

The boyfriend said the couple had argued about him buying her a flight home.

July 3, 2019, 1:09 PM

A $5,000 tip left at a Florida restaurant seemed like a gesture of kindness, but police say it may have been part of the customer’s plan to get revenge on her boyfriend.

Serina Wolfe, 24, of Buffalo, New York, used her boyfriend's credit card to leave a large tip at the Clear Sky Beachside Cafe in Clearwater on June 27, according to an arrest affidavit. Wolfe spent a total of $5,055.37 at the restaurant including food and the tip, according to the document.

Michael Crane, Wolfe’s boyfriend, said the couple had gotten into an argument because he refused to buy her a plane ticket to return to New York, according to the affidavit. Crane had placed a hold on the credit card, but removed it before Wolfe made the purchase, according to the affidavit.

Crane reported the charge as fraudulent to his credit card company when Wolfe denied making the purchase, according to the affidavit, and said he thought Wolfe “was drunk or trying to get back at him,” according to the affidavit.

PHOTO: Serina Wolfe in a police booking photo.
Serina Wolfe in a police booking photo.
Pinellas County Jail

The Clear Sky Beachside Cafe had already paid the tip to the server by the time it was reported as fraudulent, according to the affidavit.

The generous tip appeared particularly meaningful at the time because the server had recently put her dog down, according to ABC affiliate WFTS.

Wolfe has been charged with grand theft and was held on $1,000 bond at Pinellas County Jail, according to online jail records.

ABC News was unable to reach Wolfe for comment.