Prosecutors filed a half-dozen charges this week against a man police say scammed and stole from elderly victims after falsely claiming they had run over his foot in supermarket parking lots in the Pasadena area in recent months.
Richard Henry Solis, 57, described as homeless, was charged Wednesday with one felony count of elder financial abuse and five counts of misdemeanor elder abuse, according to Pasadena Police Department officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The charges were the result of a months-long investigation by both police and a private investigator hired by one of the victims into the so-called “Tire Toe Bandit,” who earned his moniker “because he reportedly scammed his victims in supermarket parking lots, waiting until they got into their cars to back out of parking spaces,” Pasadena police said in a written statement. “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.”
The crimes took place in Pasadena, South Pasadena and Arcadia, officials said. Five of the victims were elderly women, and one was an elderly man.
In the case of the male victim, Solis managed to con the senior citizen out of more than $160,000 over period of eight months, officials said.
Solis the victim he need continued payments for treatment of his purportedly injured foot, according to the police statement. “In that case, Solis reportedly threatened the victim with losing his driving privileges to keep the payments coming.”
In the five cases involving female victims, Solis would climb into the passenger side of their cars, “where he would distract them before stealing their purses or wallets,” the statement said. In once instance, he obtained only a dollar before being scared off by the victim’s screams.
Bail for Solis was set at $290,000 pending legal proceedings.