Gas stations around the metro see their fair share of flashing red and blue lights, but now robbers are targeting hotels.
Early Wednesday morning three men held up the Fairfield Inn near 15th and Nicholas at gunpoint. The robbers not only stole cash from the front desk, but they also managed to haul out an ATM machine, which typically weights between 300 and 350 lbs.
Similar hotel robberies happened just days earlier at the Carlisle Hotel near 108th and L and the Travelodge near 72nd and Grover. The robberies happened Saturday less than two hours apart. In both incidents, multiple robbers went in with a gun and demanded cash.
Tim Darby has been in the hotel business more than 20 years. He runs the Magnolia Hotel downtown. He tells Channel Six hotels are on high alert, since many are experiencing less guests this time of year, making it easier for robbers to go unnoticed.
“When you see this happen it does worry me. You become concerned,” says Darby.
He says the robberies have been surprising.
“We do so much on credit, there's not a lot of cash transaction, so it kind of surprises me that hotels have been the target right now.”
Darby goes through safety training with staff, equips the hotel with security camera, and has additional security at night. Between the hours of 2am-5am all exits to the hotel are locked. Guests required to use a key card to get in and out of the hotel during those hours.
“It’s an eye-opener for everyone any business to just be aware,” says Darby.
Omaha Police say so far, no arrests have been made in any of the three robberies.