Suspected ‘Tire Toe Bandit’ Charged With Scamming Older Victims With Parking Lot Ruse in Pasadena Area

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A 57-year-old man has been charged after allegedly scamming older victims by telling them they had run over his toe or foot in Pasadena-area parking lots, prosecutors said Monday.

Richard Henry Solis of Arcadia faces two felony counts of grand theft from an elder and six misdemeanor counts of petty theft from an elder, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Between September 2018 and this October, Solis allegedly claimed to have been injured by the victims’ vehicles before asking for money for medical expenses or stealing their belongings.

He is accused of stealing more than $100,000 from the victims, who ranged between 65 and 91 years old, according to the DA’s office.

Solis is described as homeless and was dubbed the “Tire Toe Bandit” by the Pasadena Police Department, who investigated the crimes along with a private investigator hired by one of the victims.

The suspect’s  arrest came after a monthslong investigation.

“He would tap on their trunks or rear windows, get their attention, and then claim that they had run over his toes or foot. Solis would demand an exchange of information, sometimes threatening legal action unless they paid him money,” police said in a news release at the time of Solis’ arrest last month.

The crimes occurred in Pasadena, South Pasadena and Arcadia. Five of the victims were women and one of them was a man, officials said.

The man was scammed out of thousands of dollars over a period of eight months, police said. Solis allegedly told that victim that he needed continued payments for his treatment and he allegedly threatened the man with taking his driving privileges away.

Solis was previously convicted of seven counts of first-degree burglary in 2006 and 2009, according to the DA’s office.

He is expected to be arraigned Monday and faces a possible maximum sentence of 16 years in prison if he is convicted as charged.

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