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Free ride is finally over

Hilton spending spree halted
by: , Gregg Hillier

Gregg Hillier had himself a pleasant stay.

That's according to police, who say the 44-year-old Oklahoma man made the most of services at the Hilton Garden Inn in Lake Oswego while on a spending spree with another man's credit card.

Police say the two met online last summer, then became friends. Accounts vary as to whether they subsequently began dating.

But the jobless Hillier allegedly acquired credit card information for his online friend, who lives in Vancouver, Wash., and was unaware of the scheme.

Police say Hillier kept his victim in the dark by calling the post office and canceling the man's mail delivery Sept. 11. Hillier is accused of then booking a room at the Hilton Garden Inn at 14850 Kruse Oaks Drive, where he allegedly racked up thousands of dollars in charges.

The charges accumulated, according to police, until the victim contacted the post office concerned about his mail delivery. Police say that tab is at least $5,000 and could run as high as $6,000 - an exact figure was not available.

In the interim, Hillier spent 28 days in the Hilton, where all 179 rooms boast a private whirlpool, complementary wireless access, refridgerator, microwave and coffee maker.

He allegedly took breakfast in the hotel restaurant and also racked up charges at the hotel's 24-hour Pavillion Pantry, a convenience store that also sells prepared meals.

Police say Hillier also had his clothing laundered by a valet service; purchased airline tickets, clothing and gasoline on the victim's credit card and also dined at Stanford's and other restaurants 'for amounts that looked like somebody had a pretty good meal,' said Capt. Don Forman of the Lake Oswego Police Department.

Hillier later told police he was attempting to relocate to the area and find a job but accomplished neither.

He left the hotel Oct. 9, four days before the victim contacted Lake Oswego Police to report the scheme.

Hotel staff were on alert when Hillier returned to the Hilton Oct. 11. They called police when they saw him walking to his room two days later. Hillier went willingly when police arrived Oct. 13 'to help him check out,' according to Forman.

He was taken to the Clackamas County Jail, charged with identity theft, fraudulent use of a credit card and theft of services. He is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.