Police: Florida man pretended to book business meeting, trashed hotel rooms instead

National

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – A Pinellas Park man is facing several charges after police say he committed crimes throughout Pinellas County, including scheming to defraud a hotel by pretending to be a businessman.

Authorities say 22-year-old Chance Fridriksson’s crime spree began back in May. An arrest report from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office says Fridriksson was staying as a guest at a home in Largo on May 18.

The homeowner later realized his wallet was gone but thought he had misplaced it. Deputies say a witness saw Fridriksson with the stolen wallet and was able to get it back. None of the victim’s money was recovered, the arrest report says.

Less than a month later, on June 10, Clearwater police say Fridriksson went to the SureStay Plus Hotel on US-19. An arrest report says he claimed to be the director of clinical services for the Suncoast Center and National Alliance on Mental Illness and discussed arranging a business meeting at the hotel. Fridriksson told staff there would be five coworkers in his party and asked for a negotiated rate. Police say no payment nor deposit was requested upfront due to the negotiated rate.

According to the arrest report, Fridriksson and several others trashed the hotel rooms between June 19 and June 24 then left without paying their $2,716.50 balance.

On July 17, Pinellas Park police saw Fridriksson get into an Uber and knew he had an active warrant. Police pulled him over and took him into custody that evening.

After he was taken into custody, police say they found a syringe in Fridriksson’s pocket. An arrest report says they also found methamphetamine in the backseat where Fridriksson was sitting.

Fridriksson was arrested and charged with grand theft, scheme to defraud, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance. He was also arrested on two separate warrants.

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