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St. Pete Beach Police: Man hospitalized victim, then stole from him

ST. PETE BEACH — All Martin Solt was supposed to do, police said, was look after an ill acquaintance for a day. Maybe he would go to Walgreens and pick up some medicine.

Instead, St. Pete Beach police said, Solt had an ambulance take the sick acquaintance away. Then Solt lived in the victim's house, stole his stuff and ran up $9,000 in fraudulent credit card purchases, police said, even paying for a trip to Miami for himself.

Solt, 24, of 3115 Dupont St. S in Gulfport, was arrested Friday on charges of grand theft, burglary and credit card fraud.

The 55-year-old victim is not identified in police reports but St. Pete Beach police said he is in poor health. The reports said the victim barely knew Solt. The victim actually knew Solt's father, but the father wasn't able to tend to his friend. So the son went in his place.

But instead of looking after the victim, Solt called for an ambulance and had the victim hospitalized. That was Feb. 20.

The victim didn't know that while he was in the hospital, Solt spent six days living in his Belle Vista Drive home in St. Pete Beach. During those six days, police said, Solt is accused of stealing two cameras, three video games, a nail gun and a compressor worth an estimated $2,700.

Then in March, police said, Solt made $5,000 worth of purchases using the victim's credit card. Police said Solt then used the information from the first credit card to obtain a second credit card in the victim's name and ran up another $4,000 on that card.

Solt later put the second credit card back with the victim's possessions. The victim himself used the fraudulent card without realizing he hadn't obtained it, according to police.

Solt later told police the victim had given him permission to use his credit cards, but denied ordering a credit card in the victim's name. Solt promised to pay back the victim, according to police reports, but officers were told he failed to do so because of his "drug habit."

Solt was released from the Pinellas County jail on Saturday after posting $14,000 bail.

St. Pete Beach Police: Man hospitalized victim, then stole from him 07/20/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 12:05am]

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