According to Florida television channel WFTV, not only did the man, David Price, stay at hotels under other people’s names, he went on wild spending sprees while in residence.
The channel reported that Price has been homeless for the past two years, yet livened up his existence by staying and dining at the most lavish hotels in Orange County, including The Ritz Carlton, Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Portofino Bay.
Police have been on his tail since 2010. Price is alleged to have loitered around hotels waiting for guests to leave. He would then immediately go into the newly vacated room and claim he was the guest and that he had decided to stay longer. Once in the room, Price would call the front desk and say he wanted to extend the stay, sometimes by 10 days, WFTV quoted police as saying.
At the splendid Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal, Price allegedly racked up nearly USD9000 on an Ohio man’s credit card. When WFTV spoke to the rightful owner of the card, the Ohio man said he had no idea how Price had entered his room or obtained the card details.
“But he got like the best wines, the best restaurants, room service. He got clothes and the whole ball of wax,” victim Joseph Barak said indignantly. Barak received his money back.
Police picked up Price at the Hard Rock Hotel after he moved into a room previously occupied by a hotel worker. Security officers knew the employee had already left so they called the police. After arresting Price, police searched the room and found items from other hotels including The Peabody on International Drive and the Four Seasons in Miami. Walt Disney World is said also to be looking into possible fraud by Price.
If convicted, Price’s accommodation is likely to be more basic than what he has become accustomed to.
Written by : Peter Needham