An American woman was sent on a wild goose chase after a man in Hawaii took her wallet and held her hostage while she was on vacation.
The wallet, which contained Tabitha Swatosh’s credit card, ID and passport, was found on the ground by a local, who proceeded to torment the 21-year-old through text messages.
In a viral TikTok that reached more than 16 million users, Ms. Swatosh begged the thief for her wallet back after he messaged her a picture of the wallet and said, “Oh I didn’t say it was I would return it.”
“If you’re the guy who found my wallet with my credit card, ID and passport in Hawaii, can you text me?” he said through tears.
“I don’t know if you’re a hero or a villain because you found my wallet but you won’t give it back to me.”
The social media influencer also tried to negotiate with her tormentor, who said he saw her on the beach and wanted to go on a date with her.
Her text message read, “You’re the dark-haired girl in the yellow swimsuit, huh? You’re cute, go on a date with me.”
“You told me you would give me back my credit card, wallet, ID and passport if I go out with you, I will go out with you,” said Miss Swatosh.
The man proceeded to hold the wallet hostage for five days while Tabitha continued to search the island she was staying on.
“It’s been since Wednesday, it’s Sunday,” he said.
At one point, the man agreed to meet the TikToker at a nearby McDonalds where he said he would give her the wallet, however, he did not show up, did not respond to the woman’s messages and blocked his phone number hours later.
“Remember you said we could meet at McDonalds and I said what time and you said 7pm and I went there at 7pm and you weren’t there,” said Miss Swatosh, after waiting for the man at McDonalds for more than 25 minutes.
Just when hope seemed lost for the young traveler, who had been “on an emotional rollercoaster”, she received a call from the hotel reception on the last morning of her trip.
“The front desk just called me and said someone handed me a wallet at the desk,” he said.
After being ushered into the security office, a staff member handed Ms. Swatosh her wallet and said, “Yes, a young man gave us this wallet, he’ll be back later.”
“I’m literally going to throw up, are you kidding me? My God!” she said as she revealed that all of his belongings were still safe in the wallet.
“For those who don’t know, I was in Hawaii last week and a guy found my wallet…and he’s been messing with me and he wouldn’t give it back.
“It’s been an emotional journey.”
Along with the wallet was a note from the man that read: “I hope you had a fun trip kid, I enjoyed playing with you, I always have a good time playing with tourists. You always have a local friend here in Hawaii, Mahalo.”