Homeless Man Charged With Defrauding Drivers in Pasadena in Unique Scheme

A 57-year-old homeless man was jailed Friday night in lieu of $290,000 bail, suspected of carrying out a unique fraud scheme against retirement age victims in Pasadena.

Dubbed the “Tire Toe” thief, the suspect would wait in supermarket parking lots for his victims to get into their cars to back out parking spaces, then tap on their rear window or trunk and claim the driver had run over his toes or foot, then threaten legal action against the driver unless they paid him money, according to Detective Victor Cass of the Pasadena Police Department.

In five cases, all involving women of retirement age, the suspect, identified as Richard Solis, allegedly got into the passenger sides of the vehicles, where he would distract the drivers before stealing their purses or wallets, Cass said.

In the only case involving a man, Solis defrauded the victim of $160,000 over an eight-month span by persuading the victim he needed more medical treatments for his injured foot and threatened the victim with losing his driving privileges in order to keep the payments coming, Cass said.

The detective was able to track Solis to an apartment in Arcadia and arrested him on Nov. 8.

Solis was charged Wednesday with one count of felony elder financial abuse and five counts of misdemeanor elder abuse. He is due in court Monday.

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