Fresno cops nab hotel burglar selling stolen TV's
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno police have arrested a suspect in a series of burglaries in hotels and motels in the Central Valley.
Police have linked James McGovern to burglaries at three hotels in Fresno. He's also a suspect in burglaries in Kingsburg, Clovis, Madera and Chowchilla.
Police think McGovern slipped in through side doors as guests left, and then walked the halls, looking for targets. Fresno Police Sergeant Mark Hudson told Action News the Airport Holiday Inn, The Marriot Courtyard and Homewood Suites in Fresno were among those McGovern hit. "He was going into these hotels and just checking for open doors, maybe where maids had been in going in stealing the TV's."
Hudson says that in rooms where guests left without closing their doors tightly, jewelry, watches, electronics and wallets were missing. "He had credit cards from some of the victims, we believe he was involved in fraud and identity theft."
Police were alerted to McGovern when someone reported him selling TV's out of his mobile home. He was also arrested on narcotics, and counterfeiting charges. Police say they found quantities of heroin and methamphetamine along with more than $200 in counterfeit bills. "We booked him in yesterday he was out within a few hours, after we booked him in," said Sergeant Mark Hudson. "He's now, back out on the streets."
Police and hotel operators say this is a reminder guests should keep their room doors locked, and place any valuables in hotel safes.
Hotel workers told us they believe Hudson used a handicapped placard on his car, and walked with a limp. They speculate that is because of his apparent disability. Some hotel patrons may have opened side doors and let him in. A manager of one hotel told Action News the suspect appeared to have remained in some rooms for a while, because he rented movies on the TV's before he unbolted them and took them out of the rooms.
Fresno police say they have surveillance video of him carrying TV sets out of the hotels. In some cases he may have used cushions from hotel couches to conceal the TV's. A hotel manager who did not wish to be identified said replacing the missing cushions was harder than replacing the TV sets.
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