Alleged hotel scammer tried to bill Red Cross

A man who stayed in a South San Francisco hotel claiming to be assisted by the American Red Cross pleaded not guilty to burglary and grand theft charges Monday, San Mateo County prosecutors said.

Ryan Anonuevo, 46, checked into the La Quinta Inn twice between Aug. 14 and 22 claiming the Red Cross was providing him with housing because his house burned down and he is a cancer patient, prosecutors said.

He provided a contact phone number for someone claiming to be a Red Cross employee who corroborated his story, but when the hotel sent a bill to the Red Cross, it refused to pay.

Anonuevo pleaded not guilty to the charges in the courtroom of Judge Mark Forcum. He is being held on $25,000 bail and is next due in court on Sept. 5 for a preliminary hearing.