ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - An Orlando woman was arrested this week, charged with grand theft and scheme to defraud. Orlando Police say Monica Street was renting apartments to others as she was being evicted from them.
Carmen, who asked FOX 35 not to share her last name, says she placed an ad on Craigslist saying she was looking for an apartment to rent. “She was acting like she was a real estate agent. She was trying to get me an apartment,” said Carmen.
Carmen says she met Street at the Park Central Apartments to get a look at a unit for rent. “She asked for my social and my ID of course.” The two met up the following day so Carmen could sign the lease and give Street a deposit. It wasn’t until Carmen went to move in that she realized there was a problem. “She gave me keys of the apartment I was supposed to move into but the key wasn’t working,” said Carmen.
Orlando Police say Street stopped returning Carmen’s calls. “She decided to basically run off with the money,” said Carmen. Orlando Police brought Monica Street into headquarters this morning on an arrest warrant. Detective John Tritt says street had no business renting the apartments. “The father of her child was on the lease and they were under eviction,” said Det. Tritt.
Investigators say Carmen is not Street’s only victim. Another woman looking for a place to rent called police after getting ripped off also placing an online ad, “looking for immediate availability responding to an ad on craigslist. Monica Street met with her but said her name was the name of the first victim, Carmen” Detective Tritt explained.
Investigators say street used Carmen’s name and information and pulled the same rent scam on the second victim who was interested in an apartment at the Harbortown Apartments. “The second apartment was also under eviction,” said Tritt. Detectives say from what they know so far, Street scammed these 2 victims out of more than $3500, $1800 of which was Carmen’s. “She left me living in hotels with really no money at all,” said Carmen.
Investigators say if you’re renting an apartment from a second party, call the leasing office or management office to make sure that it’s allowed and that you’re not being ripped off.