Mad girlfriend gives waitress $5,000 tip — on boyfriend’s credit card, Florida cops say

A random act of kindness in Florida turned out to be something else entirely, according to police.

ABC Action News reported on Friday that a diner at Clear Sky Beachside Cafe in Clearwater Beach left her waitress a $5,000 tip on a bill of less than $60 — an apparently altruistic offering to a server who was mourning the loss of her dog, according to the restaurant’s corporate office.

The cafe didn’t release the customer’s name, the Tampa area TV station reported. But now police have: The generous tipper, Serina Wolfe, is charged with grand theft after her boyfriend said she put the tip on his credit card, WTSP reports.

Wolfe, a 24-year-old from Buffalo, New York, is in custody at the Pinellas County Jail, where she’s being held on $2,000 bond, according to online jail records. Wolfe was arrested on Monday.

The boyfriend told police that he thinks Wolfe was “drunk or trying to get back at him” following a fight over whether she could buy a flight to New York on the card, which is under his name, according to an arrest affidavit obtained and posted online by the Smoking Gun.

The man had put a hold on the card after the couple got into the fight, but that hold was taken off June 27, the same day Wolfe is accused of using the card at the cafe, the affidavit said.

Wolfe told her boyfriend she hadn’t made the purchase and reported it as fraudulent to the credit card company, according to the affidavit, but she ultimately admitted to the police that she had incurred the charge. Wolfe handed over a credit card to authorities, the affidavit said.

By the time the charge was reported as fraudulent, the restaurant had already paid the $5,000 tip to the waitress, the affidavit said.

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.