Man charged with pretending to be disabled to scam elderly

SKOKIE, Ill. (AP) – A man who pretended to require a wheelchair to get sympathetic elderly people in suburban Chicago to comply with his requests for expensive gifts and hotel room payments has been arrested.

Skokie Police say 62-year-old Marin Ghimes would wheel into churches and hospitals to befriend his elderly victims. He was charged with felony theft by deception after he allegedly failed to pay an elderly person back for hotel charges he’d racked up.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that police believe Ghimes has been conning victims across the country since 1992 and say at the time of his arrest he was wanted on six warrants for similar alleged crimes in Florida and Texas.

Ghimes, who has no permanent address, is being held without bond. He’s scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.