HUNTINGTON BEACH – Surveillance footage of a woman who duped the Hesperia Girl Scouts out of their end-of-the-year party led to an arrest over 6 months later. “Early this morning, Detective Pham and our Crime Task Force (CTF) Unit arrested Karina Martinez of Anaheim in connection with the Girl Scouts Craigslist scam,” Huntington Beach Information Officer Jennifer Marlatt said.
The girls from the undisclosed Hesperia-based Girl Scout troop collectively voted on having their end-of-the-year party at the beach. Some of the girls, many growing up in the desert, had never been to the beach so the troop leader was excited to explore their options. During her search, which began on Craigslist a Huntington Beach Vacation rental caught her eyes. On February 2, 2016, she made contact with the person listing the property to inquire.
The two exchanged numerous emails, the final email giving the troop leader information of where to transfer the funds. The troop leader, reluctant to transfer the money sight unseen, went ahead fearing that if she did not, she would lose the rental. Once the payment of $1050 was complete, all communication came to a halt.
Huntington Beach Police said in February, that the trip had to be cancelled after the theft of these funds. Days later Martinez was captured on the footage withdrawing the funds. Months of investigation led the Huntington Beach police to the suspect, and her location. Martinez was arrested for theft by false pretenses.
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