SANTA FE (KRQE) – It’s not the welcome hotels want for their guests, suspects threatening and robbing staff in front of customers. Now, police are working with businesses to try and catch the crooks.
There’s been a rash of these robberies lately, and police hope someone recognizes the suspects from the video evidence they left behind.
Video shows three people pull up to a Holiday Inn Express in Santa Fe, in clear view of the security cameras. Two of them, a man wearing a black tank top, and a woman wearing a red Cleveland jersey, walk in and demand money from the clerk.
Within seconds, they’ve got the cash and the suspects run out the door, and into the getaway car.
“We’re concerned, we don’t want to see a pattern and we are seeing a pattern,” explained Celina Espinoza, spokesperson for the Santa Fe Police Department.
“It’s one of those things that you’re embarrassed, because this is the time of the year when the tourists come,” said Carmen Gallegos, Assistant Manager at the Super 8 on Cerrillos Road. Last week at the Super 8, another robber, this time covering his face, threatened the clerk and took off with cash.
“It’s tragic that you know, it’s scary it’s traumatizing for them,” said Gallegos. “It’s not at all, like we don’t live in a bad part of the area where that should be happening.”
Police have seen a rash of hotel robberies along Cerrillos Road in the past month. There was a man covering his face with a T-shirt, who robbed the Best Western. The same person is believed to have hit the Comfort Suites as another couple was checking in.
In that case, the clerk said the suspect had a knife. The teller convinced the suspect to let the customers get away from the counter before he gave the suspect any cash.
Santa Fe police are ramping up patrols and paying visits to hotels.
“We as a police department want everybody to feel welcome, everybody to feel safe, and so we’re going to those hotels, working with the businesses, and making sure our tourists are welcome,” explained Espinoza.
Officers are also taking other reports in their vehicles, so that they can stay in the field and keep an eye on possible targets.
In each case, police hope someone recognizes the suspects, to keep another robbery from happening again.
Espinoza said detectives are following up on leads in at least four cases, where the man was covering his face and robbing hotels. Officers are making sure business owners know what do in these cases. They’re also checking security cameras in the area to make sure they’re working properly.