A 57-year-old homeless man was arrested Christmas Day after he checked into Le Merigot Hotel using a stolen credit card.
At 4:24 p.m. on Dec. 25 officers of the Santa Monica Police Department went to the hotel at 1740 Ocean Avenue after they had received a report of a possible fraud that had taken place at this luxury waterfront property.
When the officers arrived they spoke with an employee who had called the police.
The employee explained to the officers he had received a telephone call from the victim, who had told him that a number of fraudulent pending charges had appeared on his online credit card statement, and that it appeared that someone staying at the hotel had made these charges.
The employee continued to tell the officers that the hotel staff had subsequently visited the room that the charges related to and confirmed the suspect was inside.
As the hotel employee was sharing this information with the officers the suspect passed by them in his wheelchair, at which point the officers detained him without incident.
The officers told the wheelchair bound suspect why he had been apprehended and this man immediately gave the officers his real name and confessed to them that he had used the victim’s information so that he could stay in a nice hotel for Christmas.
The officers checked this man’s record and discovered that he was on probation for fraud and also had a previous theft related arrest.
The officers arrested this man and he was wheeled off to jail where the officers discovered his true identity.
This man was charged with burglary, theft and use of a credit card, giving false information to officers, violation of probation, and theft with priors. Bail was set at $45,000.
Editor’s Note: These reports are part of a regular police coverage series entitled “Alert Police Blotter” (APB), which injects some minor editorial into certain police activities in Santa Monica. Not all of the Mirror’s coverage of incidents involving police are portrayed in this manner. More serious crimes and police-related activities are regularly reported without editorial in the pages of the Santa Monica Mirror and its website, smmirror.com.