Man charged with defrauding hotels

A man was arrested Thursday after allegedly using stolen credit card numbers to rent hotel rooms in Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, police said Friday.

Harold Eric Larson, 37, of Orange is charged with burglary, grand theft, misrepresentation of a credit card holder, possession of a controlled substance, identity theft with a prior conviction and violation of probation.

Police said that Larson rented a room at the Montage Resort on Dec. 21 using a stolen credit card, but the alleged fraud wasn't discovered until two days later.

He ran up a $2,134 bill, according to a news release from the Laguna Beach Police Department. Larson then used new credit card information to get a room at the Laguna Cliffs Inn on Monday, police said.

The alleged fraud was discovered when officers were called to the Laguna Cliffs Inn for an unrelated complaint about people using drugs in a room, police said. Officers arrested Edward Richard York, 40, of Tustin on drug-related charges.

During this incident, officers found out the room had been rented with a stolen credit card number provided by Larson, according to the release.

Larson is also believed to have used stolen information to rent rooms at the Newport Beach Marriott and the Super 8 Costa Mesa, Capt. Jason Kravetz said. 

Police said Larson gets the credit card information through open Wi-Fi networks.

Larson was previously arrested in Laguna Beach in April on suspicion of fraud and theft after using stolen information to rent hotel rooms, according to the release. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years probation, one year in jail and restitution.

—Kelly Parker

Twitter: @KellyParkerTCN

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