Coral Gables Police released the following statement on the arrest of Mr. Pedro Horta:
In mid-January, Mr. Pedro Horta (arrestee) was dining at a local restaurant in Coral Gables. Mr. Horta befriended a waitress at the establishment and offered her a position as a personal driver. Mr. Horta told the victim his name was “Marcos” and he was looking for a personal female driver. He gained the victim’s confidence by telling her his cataracts were getting worse and he previously had issues with male drivers. The victim agreed to the employment opportunity but did not have a suitable car to drive Mr. Horta around. Mr. Horta advised the victim he could get her a very nice vehicle valued at $10,000 for $5,000 through a friend. The victim met up with Mr. Horta on January 29, 2021, and handed him $5,000 cash as payment for a vehicle. After the transaction, the victim could not get in contact with Mr. Horta and never received the vehicle.
On February 26, 2021 at 10:30 a.m., a second victim met Mr. Horta in the 200 block of Alhambra Circle. The victim advertised his 2004 Mercedes for sale on Facebook Marketplace. Mr. Horta posed as a potential buyer under the alias of “Manny Diaz”. The victim and Mr. Horta drove around the area together to test drive the Mercedes. Mr. Horta then pulled into a parking space at the 200 block of Alhambra Circle. The victim exited the vehicle to switch seats and Mr. Horta quickly drove off, stealing the vehicle, leaving the victim stranded.
On February 27, 2021 at approximately 8:30 p.m., Mr. Horta met with another victim that was selling a BMW on Facebook Marketplace. Mr. Horta again posed as a potential buyer using the same alias, “Manny Diaz”. Mr. Horta was test driving the BMW with the victim and they drove to Marriott Hotel in Coral Gables (2051 LeJeune Rd.). Mr. Horta gained the confidence of the victim and asked the victim to go inside and speak to the front office attendant. Mr. Horta told the victim the attendant was his daughter and he wanted to surprise her with the vehicle he was about to buy. When the victim entered the hotel to bring out “the daughter”, Mr. Horta drove away in the victim’s BMW, stealing a second car.
On March 6, 2021, Mr. Horta was spotted in Sunny Isle, driving the BMW he stole on February 27, 2021. Sunny Isle Police was able to apprehend Mr. Horta and take him into custody.
Mr. Horta has been charged by detectives with multiple counts of Grand Theft and Obstruction by Disguise. Coral Gables Detectives, in conjunction with other agencies, continue to investigate and believe there may be other victims. If you believe you have been victim of Mr. Horta, we urge you to contact your local police agency.