A pair of robbers have held up at least five metro area hotels during overnight hours over the past month, making off with cash in each case and leaving staff shaken.
The latest heist occurred at 4 a.m. Thursday at the Hampton Inn on Weir Drive in Woodbury where surveillance video captured the men behind the front desk after they charged at the clerk, then emptied the cash drawer and rummaged through cupboards and drawers before leaving.
They also displayed a gun, said Woodbury police spokeswoman Michelle Okada.
Police strongly believe the two men also are responsible for robberies at hotels in North Branch, Inver Grove Heights, Red Wing and Hastings based on statements and descriptions of the victims given by hotel staff.
“The interactions with the hotel staff have become increasingly more violent,” said Jeremy Miller, a detective with the Woodbury Police Department.
No one has been hurt during the robberies, which started with a holdup of the Nichols Inn in Hastings at 11 p.m. on July 29. The next occurred at 5 a.m. Aug. 2 at the Days Inn in Red Wing and 10 days later at 4:30 a.m. at the AmericInn in Inver Grove Heights.
The next day, Aug. 13, the bandits hit the Budget Host Hotel in North Branch at midnight.
In each case, the men have entered the hotel lobby and asked the clerk if there were any rooms available. During the interaction, one of the men begins to pull something out of his jacket. In at least two of the cases, a weapon was shown, Okada said.
Police suspect the men hitting the hotels during periods of low staffing made them an attractive target.
One of the suspects is described as a black man in his early to mid-20s with dreadlocks, 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, medium build and last seen wearing a black sweatshirt and black pants. The second suspect is a black man between 20 and 30 years old, about 5 feet 7, 140 pounds, and last seen wearing a red-hooded sweatshirt and red sweatpants.
Anybody with information is asked to call Woodbury police at 651-714-3600.