Going to the tracks can be hazardous to your health. A woman with a lust for gambling who stalked men at a horse racing track in Argentina in order to drug and rob them is now behind bars, but not before carrying out her scheme on at least 19 people.
The entrance to the Hippodrome of Palermo in Argentina. The track was a popular haunting ground for a female gambler who drugged men and stole their money and valuables. (Image: Hippodrome of Palermo)
Her modus operandi was one that has been used time and again. Media outlet La Nación reports that she targeted wealthy men at the track, seducing them and convincing them to take her to their homes.
There, she drugged and robbed them. While investigators dubbed her the “black widow,” the moniker isn’t totally accurate – her victims are still alive.
Snared In A Web
After a long investigation, law enforcement officials managed to find the whereabouts of the culprit. This Wednesday, they arrested an unidentified 51-year-old woman accused of drugging all her partners to steal her belongings.
Police sources revealed to local media that she stole everything from her targets. She collected so much loot that she was able to buy 35 cars and open her own beauty parlor.
The accused allegedly scouted rich men at the Hippodrome of Palermo in Palermo, Argentina. She sought those between 45 and 50 years old who might be open to some company at the track.
To avoid being discovered, the woman used an alias on a dating app, one of her haunting grounds for potential victims. She zeroed in on a certain area of Buenos Aires that is home to upscale neighborhoods, knowing she could find wealthy targets.
Thanks to having her own beauty parlor, she was also able to easily change the color of her hair. Using a false name and a new look, she repeatedly walked through the shadows looking for a new victim.
A 50-year-old man was the first to file a complaint against an attacker he couldn’t identify by name. The victim reported that they had seen each other for the first time at the track before he fell into her web.
After having dinner there, they went to his apartment together. They shared a few drinks, which the black widow spiked. He fell asleep and, upon waking up, discovered that he was missing a large sum of cash and other valuables.
Along Came a Spider-hunter
After the complaint, Buenos Aires law enforcement launched an investigation. The Robbery and Theft Division then began to unravel the web and track down the fraudster.
When they were able to identify the suspect, the investigators raided her home. There, they found personal items allegedly belonging to some of the victims, as well as a large sum of cash.
The black widow reportedly operated since at least 2018, although there could be more victims. In many cases, people who fall for schemes such as these don’t file a report, embarrassed to admit they became a mark.
In addition, they discovered that she had spent large sums of money on the slot machines at the track. The investigation turned up a VIP card from the Hippodrome, later confirming that she had spent at least ARS25 million (US$165,225) on the machines.
The beauty salon received a visit from the police, as well. There, investigators seized documents and receipts from the purchase and subsequent sale of a number of vehicles. They also found watches, medicines, a motorcycle, cell phones and more.
Avoiding The Trap
There are a number of different drugs that criminals will use to knock out their victims. In some instances, the outcome is far more severe than losing valuables.
Roofies (or ruffies), Liquid X, Special K are some of the street names associated with GHB, Rohypnol and others. Fortunately, detection of the presence of the drugs is possible.
Researchers in Tel Aviv developed a straw that contains a sensor, which can send an alert to a cell phone. Another stainless-steel straw contains a ring that will change color when it comes in contact with one of the drugs.
A survey the American Addiction Centers conducted shows that 58% of male respondents and 65% of female respondents acknowledged having been drugged through drinks. It’s an issue that can affect anyone, and relying on proven testing methods is the only way to avoid becoming a victim.
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