BUCKTOWN — The owner of a dance studio in Bucktown is using social media to try to recover a dress she says was stolen by a man who used a fake credit card to buy the outfit covered in fringe and fancy rhinestones.
Around 8 p.m. Tuesday, a man walked into Dance Spa at 1890 N. Milwaukee Ave. and asked owner Christa Hamran about purchasing a dress displayed on a mannequin in the window.
Described by Hamran as African American with "star tattoos on his neck," the man said he was a dance teacher and female impersonator and was buying the dress to prepare for a competition in Florida.
The man was from 25 to 35 years old, and standing about 5 foot, 10 inches tall, Hamran said.
The man used an American Express card to purchase the dress, which is size 4-6 and made by designer Emilee Peterson, owner of Mimi G Designs.
Valued at $3,250 but priced at $2,800, Hamran said she wore the black Lycra body suit dress, covered with aquamarine beaded fringe and aquamarine Swarovski rhinestones, about six times during her last season of dancing.
The buyer gave Hamran a special authorization code to run through with the card because the credit card company limits purchases to $500.
"We packed up [the] dress and sent him on his way," said Hamran, who added the man seemed "very cozy and even hung up his coat."
Later, when Hamran was going through batches of transactions, she realized the dress sale did not go through and called American Express, which said the card was not valid.
"Please forward this email to any dancer friends you have, or anyone you may know in the female impersonation industry," Hamran posted on her Facebook page Wednesday.
Hamran said she filed a police report and sent out an email to a former dancing partner who knows people in the female impersonator community.
Officer Michael Sullivan, a police spokesman, confirmed the report.