Archive for the criminals Category

scene of the crime

Posted in bad things, co-workers, cops, criminals on October 17, 2009 by sarafist

I woke up to a text from Drihanna: “I need you to call me asap regarding police matter.”

Shit. I checked my call list, and she had called, but no one else had. So it probably wasn’t related to the robbery, or the detective would have called me first. What now?

When I called her, the first thing she asked was, “Did you notice anything sketchy about that Gina person you rented to last night?”

Other than the fact that she wanted two rooms, a Jacuzzi room and a standard room (135 and 215, respectively), no, and I told her so.

“Well, when the housekeepers went in to clean 215 this morning, they found blood. And a knife.”

“What the–? Lots of it?”

“The sheet had soaked places on it, big patches all over, and through to the mattress. There’s a gang of cops here now. Wallace said there were people in and out of here all last night; he was running ragged chasing them down. Some guy came in from 215, and was trying to look at the cameras to see what we could see.”

“Oh, Jesus Christ.”

“Yeah. Well, I gotta get that [phone]. See you in a minute.”

When I got to the lol-iday inn a little while later, there was only one cop left, and he was getting ready to leave. Drihanna filled me in on the details. The cops said the knife probably had little to do with the blood, since it was a bread knife. They also said that the blood patterns–great big soaking splotches all over the sheets and blanket, drips across the room, and fingerprints on the headboard–were consistent with female sexual assault, ie rape. And we apparently work with total idiots: The housekeeper for that section, despite Drihann’s telling her NOT to clean anything in the room or touch it, had the sheet soaking in bleach when the cops arrived to check everything out. And had scrubbed the mattress. Fucking A.


newsflash: it finally happened

Posted in bad things, criminals on August 21, 2009 by sarafist

The lol-iday inn got robbed last night, during my shift. I’m not really in a big hurry to write it all down, but I will have the incident posted for you soon.

ingalls redux

Posted in cops, criminals on June 14, 2009 by sarafist

It was a nice, quiet Sunday morning. When I arrived at work, Wallace informed me that the place had been jumping all night, even till 5am. There wasn’t a lot of traffic going in and out, but people were out and about, smoking, walking their dogs, running to the Sevvie for sodas–whatever. As a consequence, my morning started slowly. Then I got a call.

“This is Officer Singer. Are you folk missing a any TVs?”

I thought for a moment. I was sure that we hadn’t been missing any, because if one had disappeared, I would have heard about it. So I told the officer that, and also that if one were missing, it would have happened last night. But I also told him that I’d check with my boss to make sure, got the officer’s number, and promised to call or have someone else call him right back. Predictably, Mike freaked out when I passed the message along, and immediately called the officer back himself.

Mike called me back a few minutes later, and told me to have the head housekeeper check all the empty rooms in the back building to make sure that no TVs were missing, and that they were all the right kind. You see, lol-iday inn corporate wants us all to follow a new model, and is having us slowly upgrade. One of the first changes was to install flatscreen TVs in the back building–and that’s the kind of TV the officer was inquiring about.All our TVs are marked in several places with our name and phone number, making them hard to pawn.

I returned to the desk to do my duty, and Mike arrived a few minutes later, then called from the back building to tell me that someone had broken into 131, used it, trashed it, and taken the TV. Officer Singer pulled in a few minutes later, and then Mike called me to come talk to the officer. While we waited for the officer to finish taking notes in the room, Mike nudged me toward the cruiser. “Go on,” he urged. “Look, and see if you know him.”

“Uh, no,” I replied uneasily, vaguely creeped out at looking into the cruiser’s occupied backseat. We joined the officer at 131’s door, and he asked me a few questions about the room, then asked whether I recognized the name John Ingalls. My mind went momentarily blank, and then it came to me. “That’s the dude who stole our mail!”

“O rly?” said the officer.

“Yeah, we kicked them out of here a couple of times. I kicked his wife out with a fake ID, too.”

“Can you verify that that’s him in the car?” the officer asked me.

I hemmed and hawed for a minute. “It’s creepy!”

“It’s cool,” he told me. “You’re fine.”

I edged over to the cruiser and peeped over the lowered rear window at the occupant. There sat John Ingalls, sullen and bleary-eyed. “Hey there,” I said, and turned back to the officer. “Yeah. That’s him.”

“Do you think you could find those incidents on your video?” the officer inquired.

“Sure, I’ll go look that up now,” I said, and returned to the office. I tracked down the dates and times for the video, and handed them off to the officer. Apparently, I then missed some excitement, as a guest came in and informed me that the officer was yelling at someone in the parking lot. Damn.

Eventually, the officer drove off, and Mike gave me some information for calling the DA Monday morning in order to press charges. A very polite gentleman from Forensics came by a little while later to check the scene, and the excitement was over.

Well played, Ingalls.

nice job!

Posted in criminals, stupidity on May 21, 2009 by sarafist

Awesome update on the Ingallses!

Wallace was working and got a call inquiring about 136, the Jacuzzi room with a king bed. He told the caller it was available, and they said they’d be right over. He had kind of a weird feeling about the caller, so he locked up his laptop, and waited. It was the Ingallses, who he wasn’t familiar with due to never encountering them on his shift before (remember, too, he returned pretty recently). She asked whether she could look at the room before renting it, and Wallace agreed, locking the cashdrawer and walking her there while Mr Ingalls waited in the lobby. 136 is at the far end of our property, wchi is L-shaped, so they were gone a few minutes. When they returned, Mr Ingalls gave Wallace his license, and Wallace began the check-in process. Suddenly, and for no apparent reason, they changed their minds and decided not to get the room. Wallace assured them that it was no problem, handed the ID back, and they left.

Wallace noticed then that there was something different, and looked around, trying to figure it out. The outgoing mail was gone. “No way,” he thought. So he checked the footage from when he was taking Michelle Ingalls to 136. Mr Ingalls stood quietly at the desk, then wandered to the flyers rack. Then he came and stood next to the outgoing mail, surreptitiously looked around, and then sloooowly slid his hand over to the rack. He snatched up the mail and quickly hid it in a pocket while nonchalantly looking in another direction.

There are a few elements that make this so great. One being that the outgoing mail holder is placed next to our video monitor. The monitor showing the office. And yes, it is angled so that guests can see it. So there was no reason for Mr Ingalls to think he wasn’t being watched. Also, instead of just leaving after stealing our mail, Ingalls gave Wallace his ID. His real ID. And then, all they got were some pictures of Adrienne’s baby that she was sending to a friend and a few bills we were sending people. Nice job, Ingalls!

And yes, we did report it to the police, and there is a case opened.

another one bites the dust

Posted in cops, criminals on February 13, 2009 by sarafist

It’s been a pretty quiet winter here at the lol-iday inn. Usually we have scads of people who live on the streets or in their cars all summer checking in to stay somewhere warm where they can shower, but I guess the economy’s been slowing everyone down. Even the cops have little to keep them busy lately, or so they tell me when they drop by, which is rarely.

We did have a little excitement last night, however. Actually, it all started on the first of the month. *doodle-oo doodle-oo doodle-oo* (That’s the Wayne’s World flashback sound, you know.)
A girl came in wanting a room, and she looked familiar, so I figured she’d already have a record in our computer, but none popped up. I knew she’d stayed with us a few times recently, though, so I examined her ID a bit more closely. That’s when I noticed that the font for her name and address was wrong, and there was no expiration date. And that the signature on the back was for a completely different name.

“I can’t rent to you,” I told her, handing the ID back. “This is a fake.”

“Well, that’s what they sent me when I changed from my New York license,” she replied. “I still have my paper one if you want to see.” But she made no move to give me a paper one to back up her story.

“Well, I don’t know who sent it to you, but it’s not from the DMV. It’s not legit and you’re not allowed to rent here.”

“I can’t believe his!” she exclaimed huffily, and then left.

I had a strong feeling she’d be back, however, so I left a note for all my co-workers with her description and the fake name was using. Unfortunately, I could not figure out what name she’d used previously, so I couldn’t note that as well. I also gave some impromptu lessons to a few of my co-workers on recognizing fake Oregon Ids.

Fast-forward to Wednesday night, and I was back on shift after being off since Sunday. I was sitting at the desk, doing some homework, when who should walk in wanting change for a dollar but Miss Fake ID herself! Only she’s dyed her hair this awful orange, the color of a pumpkin. (As a long-time home colorist, I recognized it as what happens when you try to dye bleached blonde hair red or auburn.) I smiled and gave her the change, then watched to see what room she returned to. 235, gotcha! Of course, she was using the name she’d previously used with us, J**** G*****, and had checked in on Sunday when I wasn’t working.

So I called the cops. Non-emergency, actually, and explained the situation, and how since they didn’t come by as often these days, I wanted to make sure someone checked her out since she was clearly not legit. A short while a later an officer I didn’t know arrived and took down all the info I gave her: the J**** G***** name and ID number and DOB, as well as the fake ID name, A***** W***-H*******. After checking things out on her car computer for a bit, she came back in with an air of suppressed excitement. “I’m pretty sure this is a girl in an identity theft case we’ve been working on for a while,” she told me. “So I’ve called the officer on that case, and he’ll be in shortly.”


Sure enough, when the new officer came in, he was soon chomping at the bit to get 235. They went up to her room, but she wasn’t there. Clearly disappointed, they returned in the office to leave their names and cell numbers, and requested that I call them as soon as she arrived back on the property—and asked me to keep it on the down low. Dir! After they left, I went up and changed the lock on 235’s door so that she would have to come into the office when she returned; that way, I could work on my paper without worrying too much about missing her. Unfortunately for me, she didn’t return until just before I went off shift. I called the officers as soon as I saw that she went up to her room and was staying there. I had to leave, so I left K with strict instructions on what to do if she left, and to tell me everything!

Well, they did indeed return to pick her up about a half hour later, and she was the girl they sought. The name she was using to rent 235 wasn’t her real name, either, the officer told me today that when they went in she protested, “But I’m J**** G*****!” but dropped the act immediately, admitting, “I’m really S**** M****,” when they told her they knew everything. They had a mile-long list of names she’d been using, some stolen, others invented. And she’d been passing fake checks and using stolen credit cards all over PDX;’ the officer advised me that she has a “mess of warrants” and would “be away for a really long time” and that she was “really bad news.” They thanked me for being so “on the ball,” too. Awwww.
But as I told A, the best part was how she was totally thinking to herself, “I showed that bitch who wouldn’t let me rent here!”And then she went down. Ha-ha! Vindication!

shots fired at the lol-iday inn

Posted in bad things, co-workers, cops, criminals on October 24, 2008 by sarafist
I missed some excitement Thursday night. When I turned over desk duty to Wallace at ten o’clock, I thought his biggest problem would be two feuding sets of rooms; both had noisy children and parents that disliked one another. When I woke up this morning, however, I had a text from him: “Shots fired right in front of me at work last night.”


I called him and got the details. It seems he had heard a lot of noise upstairs around one am, and figuring it was the two feuding sets of rooms, he went out to investigate–and to tell them to shut up. When he went outside, he realized that the noise wasn’t coming from those rooms, but that there were two young men walking down the hallway shouting. They came down the front stairs, and Wallace met them out front. “Are you guests here?” he asked, and when they replied in the negative, he told them to get off the property. He said that he was pretty aggressive about it–as we sometimes have to be–and was all but cursing them out. When they asked Wallace why he was so mad, he told them that they just could not be on our property if they weren’t staying here, especially if they were disturbing our other guests late at night. [Dir!] He told them that if they didn’t leave immediately, he would call the cops. They started walking toward the parking lot, presumably to get their car, and Wallace returned to the office.

Watching them on camera, however, he saw that they went up the stairs at the far end of the building, one of our troublespots. Wallace went upstairs and heard them shouting; when he got withing a few feet of them, one of the young men pulled a gun out of his waistband and fired into 223. Wallace immediately reversed, and saw them fire again, apparently at random, as this bullet went through 219’s window. He continued back to the office at top speed to call 911, but found himself at a dead end in our back room, since the rear office–the most secure room available to us–was locked. He turned around and waited to see whether they’d come after him, since he was the main witness, having seen and spoken to them, as well as seen them start firing. Fortunately, they took off down the street.

When the cops arrived, they reviewed the security tapes with Wallace, who saw that even before he’d spoken to them the first time, one young man had lifted his shirt to show someone the gun in his waistband. “If I’d seen that, I wouldn’t have cussed them out–or even gone outside,” he told me. “I would’ve just called the cops.”

The officers recommended that we expel that entire section of rooms, from 220 down to 224, and also 202 & 225 at the opposite end (one set of the feuding rooms, even!), who were acquainted with the shooters, which we did this morning at checkout.

They believed it was a drug dispute of some kind, as the guy in 223 has been under suspicion for dealing for quite some time. He’s constantly got people calling, including from other rooms, and visiting at all hours for five minutes. Mmmhmm. The girls in 222 (who were prostitutes) said that the shooters were friends of theirs, and that 223 had come over to their room and was bothering them. Regardless, we made them all leave. 223 was injured slightly but fine, and 219’s boyfriend was lightly grazed. No other injuries, fortunately.

“That was the biggest adrenalin rush in my life,” Wallace told me. “I can’t believe it.”

ghost in the motel

Posted in about work, criminals, hookers on June 6, 2008 by sarafist

Though our housekeepers aren’t perfect, they do a pretty good job and are fairly thorough (but I must admit that those 20/20 or Dateline-style exposes on the cleanliness of hotel rooms are pretty spot-on; only the sheets and towels are changed daily), so when we had a wave of complaints about dirty rooms, we wondered just what exactly was going on. Invariably, the complaint was that although the room appeared to have been cleaned, the bed seemed used, there were occasionally damp towels in the bathroom, and without exception, there was a used condom and wrapper, plus baby wipes in the otherwise empty trashcan. That is not the typical MO of a lazy or forgetful housekeeper, for if they do make a mistake, they will generally forget to bring back linens and make up the bed, or simply skip the room entirely. The other usual reason for a dirty room showing as clean on the computer is that a forgetful desk clerk moved a guest from one room to another, but neglected to adjust the computer to match. Something else was odd about those dirty rooms; the ones generating the complaints were all in one area, very near the central stairs, an area largely not screened by our security cameras. Curiouser and curiouser.

The situation had been going on for about two weeks when a housekeeper returned to a freshly cleaned room one afternoon to discover that it had already been sullied! The day girl, A, kept a vigilant eye out, and sure enough, saw a girl who had been a regular until the incidents walking through the parking lot. When A asked what she was doing on the property, the girl responded, “Oh, I’m staying here,” and kept going. A car followed, parking off camera behind the stairs, a man got out, and the two disappeared. Six minutes later (I kid you not), the two reappeared. By then, A had gotten a hold of our boss, M, and as the culprits tried to leave, he ran after them, shouting. The man took off for his car and drove out like he was on fire. M grabbed the girl, demanded compensation for the room, and once he had it, threw her off the property, promptly adding her to our DNR (Do Not Rent list).

Once that had gone down, it was easy enough to go back through the security footage and see that the girl—a known prostitute—had been doing the same thing nearly every day for two weeks: walking onto the property where she was familiar as a guest, followed by a john who would park, then surreptitiously follow her to one of the earmarked rooms. The shortest incident we caught on tape was four minutes; the longest was twelve. Since the housekeepers leave the doors of vacant rooms open until they are finished with a section, once the hooker figured out which rooms were off camera, she had herself a nice little scam.

It’s a bad old world.