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Hotel master key used in thefts during Indy 500 weekend

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Indianapolis (May 25, 2015) - Indianapolis Metropolitan Police are looking for a weekend thief who stole from multiple guests using a hotel’s master keycard.

The thefts were reported at the Wyndham Hotel, close to Indianapolis International Airport, early in the day Saturday.  Multiple hotel guests told police they returned to their rooms to find valuables missing.  Stolen items included wallets, laptop computers and other valuables.  One hotel guest lost his glaucoma medicine, which was in his stolen laptop bag.

“I just think it’s really unfortunate,” said Tricia Brooks, who spent the weekend at the Wyndham.  “You know, race weekend is such a fun weekend for everybody.”

It’s not clear how many rooms were stolen from.  Four police reports filed in the case referred to multiple rooms and victims.

Officers responding to the reports quickly realized that the thief or thieves had somehow gained access to the Wyndham’s electronic master keycard.  They also noted that every room affected by the thefts had a Do Not Disturb sign hanging on the door handle.  Detectives want to know if that was a deliberate move by the thief to keep housekeeping crews from walking in on the crimes.

“One of the things we always do is we talk to the victim,” said IMPD Officer Chris Wilburn.  “And talk to the hotel to see who had access to a skeleton key.”

Detectives were planning to examine surveillance video inside the hotel to see if it captured the suspect on camera.

News of the case was unsettling to other guests at the Wyndham.  Especially frequent travelers like Cheri Spies, who is a flight attendant based in Chicago.

“When I hear stories of this nature, I try and take a lesson from it,” Spies said.  “So I will most likely be locking up my valuables in the safe when I’m not in the room.”

Police recommend locking valuable items in a room safe if your hotel provides one.

“Or when you’re leaving the hotel, you can actually bring those things to a concierge desk, or the front desk attendant,” Wilburn said.

Employees at the Wyndham had no comment about the case.  Messages left with the local general manager and at Wyndham corporate headquarters in New Jersey were not returned as of late Monday.

Next door to the Wyndham, race weekend and Memorial Day weekend were also ruined for Nebraska resident Jason Morrow.

Morrow says somebody stole his 2005 Harley Davidson from the parking lot of the Comfort Inn Suites around 2:45am Monday.  He says he rode his motorcycle from Nebraska to attend the Indy 500.  Whoever stole the bike also damaged the ignition switches on two other motorcycles owned by his friends.

“Now this weekend will be another downer to dwell on for the rest of my life on Memorial Day along with the deaths of a few good Marines I served with,” Morrow said in an email.  “At least I can get a different bike.”

Morrow described his motorcycle as a Softail Deluxe with gold and black paint, ape hanger handlebars and long fishtip exhaust.

It has a Nebraska license plate of 6-271.

A picture of the bike is at the bottom of this story.  If you see it, you’re asked to call IMPD.

This 2005 Harley Davidson was stolen from the parking lot of the Comfort Inn Suites early Monday morning.

This 2005 Harley Davidson was stolen from the parking lot of the Comfort Inn Suites early Monday morning.

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