3 Tampa hotels targeted by armed robber

- Tampa police are looking for an armed robber who's been holding up clerks at hotel lobbies. In the past three weeks, they say he's hit three different hotels in the area.

The most recent happened Tuesday morning.

"He's approaching the hotels in the early morning hours so it's dark out. The clerks are working by themselves," said Tampa Police Department Spokesperson, Eddy Durkin.

The first armed robbery happened November 20 at the Days Inn on North 50th Street. The second happened Monday morning at the Quality Inn, also on North 50th.

The latest, took place Tuesday morning at the West Wing Hotel on East Fowler Avenue.

"He's using a weapon now to rob. We don't want it to escalate to where somebody is going to get hurt," Durkin said.

Police say the suspect wore a New York Yankees backpack at all three robberies, which took place between 3 and 4:30 a.m. Each time, police say he walked up to the front desk, pointed a gun at the clerk, demanded money, and took off.

"If you happen to work overnight in the hotel, be leery and keep your doors locked," Durkin warned. "If you see him, definitely call 911 right away and we can get out there."

Guests at the Quality Inn tell us they feel pretty safe and wouldn't expect this sort of crime at their hotel. "I thought it was a pretty secure location," said Florian Schaarschmidt.

"It's an alright hotel. It's alright to me," said Nick Kitchens. "I wouldn't even believe somebody would try to rob it. I kind of felt hit when I heard that."

Police are anxious to get this guy off the street and booked into a room at the jail. So far, no one has been hurt and they want to make sure that doesn't happen.

"I'm really shocked because like, I wouldn't believe it," Kitchens said. "It's coming right around Christmas so they'll do what they have to do."

Anyone with information on the identity and/or whereabouts of this suspect is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-873-TIPS.  Anonymous tips leading to an arrest may be eligible for a reward of up to $3,000 in cash.

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