Local

Several Fresno County hotels robbed at gunpoint

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The Fresno County Sheriffs office says just after 9:45 Monday night two men and a woman walked into the Travel Lodge in Coalinga wearing black ski masks. At this point it's unclear what they may have stolen.

This comes just one day after two other clerks at Fresno County hotels were robbed at gunpoint. The first happened at the Selma Holiday Inn, the other just miles away at the Fairfield Inn in Kingsburg.

Kingsburg Police just released the surveillance video from the second robbery in Kingsburg. They're hoping you'll recognize the suspects in the video.

Police believe one of the suspects may be a woman, and they also believe there's a 4th person who drove the getaway car. Police say these same people are responsible for another hotel robbery in Selma where a young clerk was held up at gunpoint, and three robbers got away with hundreds in cash.

What was supposed to be a normal, quiet night on the job became a Fresno State student's worst nightmare. "They got to see my features but I didn't get to see them because they were covered in black masks," said Olivia, the hotel clerk.

Olivia was studying while working at the front desk at the Selma Holiday Inn, when all of a sudden three masked men confronted her. "I stepped back and he put his gun to my head and said open the drawer and give me the money."

She did what they asked, laid on the ground, and waited while they searched the office for money. "You hear it happening to other hotels but never did I think it would happen there."

Minutes later they were gone. Between 10 and 12 minutes after that, the clerk who was working at the Kingsburg Fairfield Inn was also confronted by three men.

Police say the suspect description was similar. The description of the gun used in both robberies was also similar. The only difference were the victims. "I'm gonna be very surprised if they're not related," said Kingsburg Police Chief Jeff Dunn.

Chief Dunn said both crimes were serious and could have escalated into violence. "The clerks did a good job, did not try to intervene. Its an armed subject, and it's only money. Its not worth that clerk getting seriously hurt or killed."

As for Olivia, she's scared to come back to work, but wants people to know anyone can fall victim. "It can happen. Be aware of your surroundings, know what to do in that situation, don't put yourself in jeopardy of getting hurt."

Investigators say two other robberies Sunday night in Merced and Stanislaus County may have been commited by the same suspects.

Investigators believe the getaway car is a silver Dodge Avenger or Stratus. If you've got any information, you are asked to call the Kingsburg Police Department.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
coalinga, fresno county, robbery, selma, kingsburg, local, stephanie stone
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