Crime hits Tifton hotels - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Crime hits Tifton hotels

We have surveillance video tonight that shows a Tifton hotel intruder in action. He escaped after giving one man a rude awakening. The victim woke up in his hotel room to find the intruder standing there with his wallet.

Police think this guy may be going up and down the interstate hitting hotels.

At first glance, the man appears to be just another hotel guest but surveillance video shows he's not at the Days Inn to get rest he's on a crime spree.

Wednesday night, one guest got quite the surprise when he woke up to find the man inside of his room. "The guy says he is a maintenance man for the hotel and the guest looks and sees his wallet inside this mans hand," said Detective Dorminey McCrae.

The hotel guest chases after the intruder, but unfortunately he gets away with his wallet. "The victim advised that he probably fell asleep and he didn't close his door all the way and that's when our offender came in a pushed the door open," he said.

Hotel surveillance video shows the intruder's plan could have included more victims, and now police warn other hotels to be on the lookout for this man. "We want the other hotels to be aware because we think he may be traveling up and down I-75 hitting hotels," he said.

Police believe he first spent time in the hotel lobby, watching football familiarizing himself with the clerk and then got into a hallway through the stairwell.

Then he goes into a maintenance closet and comes out with tape. "He tapes the door where the lock is so he will have easy access out the door," he said.

Then he goes up and down the hall with a card, checking doors. He didn't gain access to any other rooms..but police do not think this is his first time.

A few weeks ago, a guest at the Hampton Inn reported a similar incident she woke up to find a man walking out of her room and reported a bag with 50 dollars missing. And a handful of hotels in the area say a man posing as an investigator has been calling asking for guests credit card information.

However police do not think the incidents are related.

Police say don't leave your hotel door cracked open anytime even if you are going down the hallway to grab ice. They also say even if your door locks automatically use the bolt lock as well.

Police officers say they would not ask for personal information over the phone, certainly not for credit card information. So don't fall for that con.

If you recognize the man in that video, call Tifton police.

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