More people have come forward claiming to have been duped by likeable conman David Nepia Carroll.
Last week the Herald on Sunday reported Carroll - also known as David Palmer and Sam Palmer - had left without paying at gay-friendly lodges in Piha and Ruakaka. He was described as a smooth-talking, likeable gay man who said he was a chef to the stars.
It has also been claimed he left the Cancer Society's Domain Lodge near Auckland City Hospital $800 out of pocket.
Carroll and a man he befriended - Auckland electrician Alvin Chiu - had stayed there this month, but Carroll left without settling his bill at the hotel or returning the key to the hotel, which also provides free accommodation to cancer patients and their families.
Chiu said Carroll also took off with Chiu's sister's car.
Chiu met Carroll at Family, a gay bar on Auckland's Karangahape Rd, about three weeks ago. Chiu, who is not gay, said they got on well over a few drinks. Carroll - calling himself Sam - said he had been a chef for the band Coldplay and was in the midst of breaking up from his Greek "husband".
He told Chiu he planned to buy a house on Waiheke Island and needed an electrician to help check it out. Chiu, who was out of work, thought it was his lucky break and over the next few weeks travelled around the Auckland region with Carroll, staying at Piha, Waiheke, Orewa and Auckland. But Chiu was unaware that in their wake were a string of people short-changed from knowing Carroll.
"He just seemed to me like an easy, happy-go-lucky guy. A very charitable person."
He had told Domain Lodge he needed to stay there because his grandfather was ill in hospital. And he told Chiu he knew a mechanic friend who could fix his sister's car. Now the Nissan Presea has gone, and Chiu is kicking himself.
Carroll, 40, has a long list of convictions, mostly for fraud but also for theft and burglary. In 1992 he was sent to jail for 14 months for inducing a boy aged 12 to 16 to do an indecent act.
There is a warrant for his arrest for failing to appear at the Manukau District Court last August for breaching his release conditions. Ruakaka Constable Mark Stuart said he and eight police officers from Hamilton north want to speak to Carroll about numerous complaints.
* In today's Herald on Sunday (June 17) Carroll's photograph was wrongly captioned.