Sunmee Kim, the 44-year-old conwoman who put many innocent men to jail in order to steal their belongings, was recently arrested in Mountain View, California.
Kim was arrested by Mountain View detectives in Palo Alto on June 7 following an ongoing investigation from January 2018, as well as for an outstanding arrest warrant issued in southern California, according to the Mountain View Police Department news release
The 44-year-old conwoman’s M.O. usually revolved around dating sites, where she would meet men and try to gain their trust. After doing so, she would then move in with them. Sometime thereafter, she’d call the cops on them on the grounds of domestic assault or theft, Charlotte Observer
Following the man’s arrest, she would then sift through their homes, taking all of their valuable possessions before moving onto her next victim. She reportedly used several names to con men and dupe the police including: Sunny Jean Kim, Jean Kim, Jiin, and Ashley Kim.
Her acts of deception go as far back as 2009, when she threatened a man who provided her shelter in Los Angeles that she would call the cops on him and tell them that he kidnapped and beat her.
A year later, Kim was taken in for grand theft in 2010 out of Garden Grove, OC Weekly
reported. A businessman, who she met through the dating site KoreanCupid.com, was accused by Kim that he was trying to rob her. After police took him to custody, she later went back to his home and took all his valuables.
Another case was pulled back in August 2011 in Orange county, California, where she falsely filed a police report claiming that the family of another man that she met from the dating website kidnapped and assaulted her.
Kim’s conning days were cut short in December 2011, when she had a run in with Irvine Police Officer Joseph Jun after she pulled the same trick on businessman Deukman Lee. He was released a day later after the officer noticed an inconsistency in Kim’s domestic abuse report to the police.
On December 13, 2011, she called the Irvine Police Department to Lee’s home on Stanford Avenue and reported that the man assaulted her with a wooden practice sword and hit her 10 times. Since she showed signs of physical abuse, the police immediately took Lee to custody.
Kim, who used a different name at the time, told the officer that she was engaged to Lee, had been living with him for a month, and was pregnant of his child. She failed to show identification when officer Jun asked her, saying that her ID was in a purse that Lee hid from her.
After doing some further investigation, Jun looked up the name that Kim provided through government databases. Despite the matching physical description, Jun felt that something was not right, so he confronted Kim again and she explained that she recently had gone through plastic surgery.
Still not convinced by what she said, Jun decided to snoop around and shockingly discovered all that Kim had done in the past after he ran her fingerprints. The officer tried to confront her but failed — Kim had already taken all of Lee’s belongings and fled.
Luckily, detectives were able to trace Kim to a home in Koreatown on December 21, 2011, where she was believed to be in the process of pulling yet another con — this time on a woman to steal her identity. The victim took pity on her after Kim claimed she was recovering from cancer.
She was later tied to another act on a second businessman from Irvine using the identity she had stolen from the Korean woman. While she had gone out, the suspect took her clothing, jewelry, passports, and other private belongings. Police were then lucky enough to recover and return all of this back to the victim.
Kim was sentenced to four years of prison after being found guilty to eight counts of false imprisonment, four counts of first-degree burglary, two counts of grand theft, and one count of identity theft, as said the court records.
Kim was on parole in Orange County where she was supposed to remain after she served her time in jail for four years, according to CBS Los Angeles
After years of hiding, she resurfaced again in January 2018 when she called in the cops on her “fiance,” claiming that he attacked her. When asked by the police for her identity, she refused to give her full name or even contact information, and she suspiciously didn’t have any visible signs of assault or injuries to back up her claims.
Upon further investigation, it was revealed that he was not in a romantic relationship with her. In fact, they were just roommates.
“She was sentenced in Orange County for almost the exact same crime and then she disappeared for about five years,”
Mountain View police spokeswoman Katie Nelson said
. “This isn’t something that happened out of happenstance. We’re thinking her (modus operandi) is pretty prolific.”
No official word yet on her charges, as Mountain View police are still working with Santa Clara County prosecutors for the criminal charges that will be filed against her on top of the parole violations she currently faces.