Woman charged with theft in marathon lodging case

Police said a Savannah woman used the Internet to bilk Rock 'n' Roll Marathon runners out of an estimated $8,300.

Amanda Whitford, 41, of the 400 block of Price Street, was arrested Monday and charged with felony theft by taking.

Police said 18 people had lost rental deposits for accommodations scheduled for Nov. 4-6 at what was called The Pink Cottage. The cottage had been advertised online as rental on Whitford's block.

SCMPD Det. R.J. Woodberry, of the Financial Crimes Division, said she communicated talked to the runners by cell phone before their trip and collected $8,296 in deposits for a stay during the race dates.

Two weeks before marathon, Whitford told customers that water damage made the rental cottage uninhabitable. She offered to return the deposits, but never did, according to police.

She stopped communicating with the victims. The deposit funds have not since been returned.

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