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Serial hotel robber strikes again in Federal Way

A serial hotel robber, who has now robbed 10 establishments, struck again twice Oct. 28.

At approximately 8 p.m. Tuesday, the man entered Federal Way's Comfort Inn, 31522 Pacific Highway S., jumped over the counter and demanded money from the clerk. Police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock was unsure how much money was stolen.

What appeared to be a weapon — either a knife or handgun — was seen in the suspect's waistband, Schrock said. Nobody was injured in the incident and the suspect fled on foot. Police were unable to conduct a K-9 track because of high pedestrian and vehicle traffic near the area, she said.

A similar robbery took place an hour and a half later in the Sea-Tac area. The suspect in that crime matched the description of the man who robbed Comfort Inn, Schrock said. The man is suspected of robbing a total of 10 hotels in Pierce County and South King County.

Six Tacoma hotels have been robbed. Two Federal Way hotels, one Fife hotel and one Sea-Tac hotel were also targeted. The suspect's last robbery in Federal Way was on Oct. 2 at the Quality Inn, 1400 S. 348th St.

The spree began in early September and the robberies appear to occur in clusters, with only hours or days between incidents in most cases.

Schrock described the suspect as a black male in his mid-20s to 30s, weighing about 200 pounds, standing about 5 feet 10 inches tall with some facial hair. He wore a gray or dark colored puffy fur-trimmed jacket with a hood, a light-colored newsboy cap, dark shirt and pants and light-colored gloves when he robbed the Comfort Inn. The suspect wore the jacket and gloves in each of the robberies, according to the Crime Stoppers bulletin.

Tacoma/Pierce County Crime Stoppers issued a bulletin requesting information leading to the suspect's arrest in October. Federal Way police have contacted all the hotels in the city and alerted owners about the suspect, Schrock said. The bulletin has been given to each of the hotels, she said.

At that time, officers also discussed ways to ensure employees' and the public's safety, Schrock said. In past robberies by the suspect, assaults have taken place.

"As fliers are handed out, we are talking about the best ways for prevention," Schrock said. "Often those are physical barriers."

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Anyone with information about the Federal Way cases is asked to call detective Doug Laird at (253) 835-6724. One may also contact Crime Stoppers at (253) 591‑5959. Callers may remain anonymous when calling this number.

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