HOTEL HIJINKS: Hotels and motels play host to an assortment of crimes. The lawbreaking begins in the parking lot, where vehicles are left unattended for long stretches of time. This is enticing for someone with a few tools and the will to break and enter. Just ask the guy at the Best Western on University Center Drive in Tampa. He used some kind of pliers or wire-cutting tool to break into a Ford Expedition. Unfortunately for him, he was quickly caught when an officer approached and he fled on foot. On Aug. 1 at 5 p.m., four vehicles were broken into on the fifth floor of the parking garage at the Wyndham hotel on Kennedy Boulevard. Suspiciously, all four of the vehicles belonged to hotel staff. Did someone not get enough little soaps? Over at the Best Economy Inn on Busch Boulevard, the cops got lucky as an officer happened upon a 2005 Dodge Neon that had been reported stolen. After maintaining surveillance on the car, the officer spotted the thief removing a baby bag and car seat from the car and made the arrest.
hall of shame: Also at the Best Economy Inn, a man "left his hotel room [at 4 a.m.] in search of a vending machine." The late-night snacker was approached by two men, one of whom asked him for a cigarette. When the man explained that he did not have a smoke on him, the two men decided they would rather take all of the victim's cash instead. The two men pushed the victim against the wall, took his wallet out of his pants, removed $320 in cash and fled. The victim was left with a bump on his head. The report is unclear why the man was wandering a hotel hallway at 4 a.m. with $320 in cash, or if he ever got his Cheetos.
KEEP IT DOWN IN THERE! On Aug. 27, at 7:34 a.m., a man forcibly entered a motel room on Nebraska Avenue occupied by a 57-year-old woman. It seems these two had some history, as the victim was set to testify against the defendant on Sept. 7. The man was none too pleased with that scenario, and he "grabbed the victim by the throat and advised her that he would kill her if she testified in court against him. At this point, he refused to let her leave the room." Fortunately for the victim, just because she was not allowed to leave didn't mean her attacker couldn't take off, which is exactly what he did. The victim called the police, who quickly rounded up the suspect and charged him with burglary, battery, false imprisonment and tampering with a witness.
From the files of the T.P.D.