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Arrest warrant issued for Clearwater appliance salesman

Pinellas County

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – James Holecek was supposed to appear in court for a motion hearing on Monday morning, but he was a no show.

Holecek is facing scheme to defraud charges, accused of selling appliances that either didn’t work or weren’t delivered as promised.

His first arrest in Clearwater was in October 2020. Police arrested him again on Jan. 11 and then again on Jan. 17. He posted bail after each arrest.

On Monday, a judge issued a warrant for his arrest.

Kimmy Chandler, the founder of Fluff Animal Rescue in Seminole, told 8 On Your Side she was one of his first victims.

“I was trying to figure out how many cats we could save with $800,” said Chandler. “I’m so emotional at this point that I kind of hope that I don’t meet this fellow when I’m on a walk.”

Kimmy Chandler/Founder Fluff Animal Rescue in Seminole

When 8 On Your Side confronted Holecek after his initial arrest in October, he wouldn’t respond to questions, threatened our crew with legal action and informed them they were on private property.

On Jan. 11, we again attempted to reach him for comment. He replied via text, “it’s a false allegation of false arrest and that’ll be proven in the legal system in the future.”

According to detectives, some of his transactions happened online on sites such as Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. Now, when you search for his name on Craigslist, a warning pops up, urging buyers to avoid him.

His latest arrest involves the City of Clearwater.

According to the arrest report, he used fictitious documents, false statements, and misrepresentations when applying for Clearwater’s rent, mortgage, and utility assistance program. The document states Holecek received $4078.80 in return due to the discrepancies in the application.

After our story ran last week, prosecutors filed a motion to revoke his bond, since he violated the conditions of his release with new law violations.

Chandler still can’t believe he would target a nonprofit rescue organization.

“How could you do this to people? How could you do this to a nonprofit animal rescue? Who does something like that,” said Chandler, who hopes when police track Holecek down he spends more than a day behind bars. “Let’s just do the right things and the right things will happen and everything that he has done and everything that we’ve seen have been wrong.”

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