NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - After a woman’s cell phone was stolen and the man using it posted his picture on her Facebook page, WAVY.com got a call from a man claiming to be the one pictured.
Sue Kudlicki says her son was borrowing her iPhone 4S when it was stolen at the Buffalo Wild Wings near Patrick Henry Mall. Her son, Chris Kudlicki, said a few guys walked by and talked to his group of friends before leaving the restaurant. That’s when he realized the phone was gone.
Kudlicki sent a text to her phone and got a response: “F—k u.” Then the person using the phone logged into her Facebook account and posted a picture of himself in Virginia Beach. When Kudlicki’s son recognized the man in the picture, she came to 10 On Your Side for help.
WAVY News 10 aired the story on Tuesday, and on Wednesday evening WAVY.com got a call from a withheld number. The caller claimed to be the man in the picture on Kudlicki’s Facebook page. He claims he didn’t steal the phone. In fact, he claims no one stole the phone.
The caller told WAVY.com Chris Kudlicki lost her phone in a card game.
“This guy’s mom is telling everyone that I am a thief and stole the phone … that didn’t happen … the guy lost the phone to the guy that was with me in a Three-card Monte game,” the caller said.
Three-card Monte is a slight of hand game, usually played on a cardboard box so the operator can get away from the duped players quickly. There are three cards, and two of them are the same. The third card, usually an Ace, is called the target card. The operator moves the cards around and the player is supposed to follow the target card and put the bet on it when the operator stops. In this case, you put the cell phone on the card. If you're wrong -- and you usually are -- you lose the phone.
"Jewelry, money, cell phones, people bet cars, people bet motorcycles, and I see them lose cell phones all the time," the caller told WAVY.com
Chris Kudlicki told WAVY.com on the phone Thursday that he did not play Three-card Monte. He still claims the phone was stolen, but when he was supposed to meet up with WAVY.com for an interview, he never showed.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean our caller is blame free. After WAVY’s report on Tuesday, we also got a call from a woman who said her daughter lost a cell phone during a Three-card Monte game at Bo Bo Wireless on Jefferson Avenue – and the operator was the guy in the picture on Kudlicki’s Facebook page.
WAVY.com asked the caller if he had every played a Three-card Monte game with anyone else and won a cell phone. He initially said he didn’t know how to operate a game, but then admitted to “winning” the phone from the woman’s daughter.
"I was the operator in that case, yes … it was at a cell phone wireless place,” the caller said after a long pause.
However, the caller still claims he was not the operator in game where Kudlicki’s phone was involved.
“I had no idea the phone was stolen. My assumption was [her son] lost it in a Three-card Monte card game. I didn't know the phone was stolen until this morning when I saw my picture on TV,” he said. “So I consulted with my mom, who is a pastor, and she told me to call you. So, I called you."
The caller also told WAVY.com he did post his picture on Kudlicki’s Facebook page.
“I thought I was logged in to mine, and I’m not going to deny it. I clearly did that,” he said. “I totally regret [taking the picture] because we wouldn't be having this conversation had I not done that … It was real stupid.”
The caller said he knows who "won" Kudlicki’s phone, and will try to get it back for her.
Newport News Police say they got a Crime Line tip following WAVY.com’s first report. They are investigating the case as a larceny.
If you have any information about the man pictured on Kudlicki’s Facebook page or her phone, please call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.
South Africa's first black president, Nelson Mandela, passed away Thursday evening at the age of 95. Tributes from those who knew him began pouring in from across the globe, including words from two Hampton Roads leaders.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation says dredging beneath the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge will likely begin Friday afternoon.
State police is conducting a criminal investigation after a vehicle crashing into a residence on the Eastern Shore.
David Karl Becker, a Navy SEAL, was arrested on four charges related to stealing and selling government-owned firearms and ammunition.
Newport News Police said they are looking for the person who drove into the wall of a car wash and stole a control box.
Virginia lawmakers and officials commented on the passing of Nelson Mandela Friday, December 5, 2013. Mandela was 95 years old.
The Chesapeake Police Department is seeking any information about these 10 wanted suspects. If you know anything, call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.