NORMAN, Okla. – Police officers in two separate cities are investigating a pair of armed hotel robberies.
Now, authorities are hoping to track down the alleged suspect before he strikes again.
Police say the man allegedly orchestrated two heists more than 80 miles apart, both along I-35.
Both crimes also targeted the same hotel chain in Norman and Ardmore.
On Dec. 12, an armed suspect walked into the Comfort Inn and Suites in Ardmore and forced employees to hand over an undetermined amount of money.
An hour and a half later, officers say that same suspect allegedly committed the same crime at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Norman.
Employees at Norman’s Comfort Inn and Suites said they didn’t think there was anything wrong when the alleged suspect walked into their hotel in the middle of the night.
Amish Zaver, the hotel’s manager, says, “The guy had come in posing as a regular guest, asking for a room.”
Witnesses say the man left but came back to the desk brandishing a hand gun.
The man allegedly demanded money and employees quickly complied.
They say he fled the scene in a red Ford Mustang convertible.
Zaver says it all happened extremely fast.
“We just have a general rule to just give the money in that kind of scenario, so he did,” says Zaver. “It was pretty quick.”
A short time after the Norman robbery, officers received a call, notifying them about the Ardmore crime.
Officers say both incidents happened within an hour and a half of each other.
Capt. Tom Easley, with the Norman Police Department, said, “If you’re driving even the speed limit, you can get from here to Ardmore in 45 minutes, so there’s the connection.”
Zaver says security is now the hotel’s main concern.
They’re installing spotlights in the parking lot, locking the sliding doors at night and asking Norman officers to increase patrols to make sure their guests and employees can go back to feeling safe.
“This part of Norman in general is a pretty safe area,” says Zaver. “Nobody was really expecting it to happen.”
The alleged suspect is described as a black male, approximately 27-years-old, standing 5’11″ and weighing 180 pounds.
He was last seen wearing a white hoodie with a Fila emblem on the front, a beanie and dark pants.
If you recognize the alleged suspect, or have any information about the crimes, call Norman police at (405) 217-7742 or the CrimeStoppers hotline at (405) 366-7867.