Online date steals woman's savings for Vegas trip

Jan. 6, 2014 at 3:41 PM

SEATTLE, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Police in Washington state were searching for a man believed to be in Florida after he allegedly stole $8,500 from a woman he met through an online dating site.

Efrem Menegesha, or "Josh" as he was known on his dating profile on the site PlentyofFish.com, met the victim and the two began dating. After several encounters, the woman said Menegesha, 24, of Kent, Wash., whose last name she didn't know at the time, told her he was selling her car and moving from King County to Florida but planned to stop in Las Vegas for a month on the way, SeattlePI.com reported Sunday.

The woman told police she offered to pay her own way with him to go to Vegas and withdrew $8,500 from her savings account to do so. The day prior to their planned departure, police said Menegesha and the woman were at her Bellevue home eating dinner with her roommate. Menegesha stole the money from the woman's purse and fled the residence before anyone realized he was gone.

"She was extremely embarrassed that this happened and that she fell for him," Bellevue police said in charging documents. "She said she can't believe she didn't even know his last name."

Menegesha later called the woman to apologize for stealing the money. He remains at large.

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