– Investigators: Homeless man arrested, stays at hotels on other people’s expense (WFTV, June 29, 2012):
ORLANDO, Fla. — A homeless man spent Friday night in the Orange County Jail. He was busted after police said he posed as a guest at lavish hotels and went on spending sprees that his victims paid for.
David Price has been homeless for the past two years. On some nights he found shelter at the most lavish hotels in Orange County including The Ritz Carlton, Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Portofino Bay. He stayed at those hotels on other people’s dime.
“He’s a scumbag. People like that deserve to do time. That’s using, have a good time with somebody else’s expense,” said resident Nicholas Lawro.
Since June 2010, police have gotten reports of Price re-checking into hotel rooms. He would apparently watch a guest leave then go into the room and claim he’s that person. Once in the room, police told WFTV Price would call the front desk and say he wanted to extend the stay, sometimes by 10 days.
At the Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal, Price allegedly racked up nearly $9,000 in charges on an Ohio man’s credit card. WFTV spoke to that man on the phone.
“I don’t know how he got in my room, how he got my debit card. But he got like the best wines, the best restaurants, room service. He got clothes and the whole ball of wax,” said victim Joseph Barak.
Barak did get his money back.
A few days ago, police arrested Price after he finagled his way into a room at the Hard Rock Hotel that was previously occupied by a hotel worker. Security officers knew the employee had already left so they called the police. Officers apparently found items from other hotels in the room, including The Peabody on International Drive and the Four Seasons in Miami.
Police reports indicate that investigators at Walt Disney World have also looked into possible fraud by Price.