Orlando hotel armed robbery may be latest in string of crimes

By Erik von Ancken - Anchor/Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - A hotel near Orlando International Airport was robbed Monday morning, but it's not yet known if it's connected to a recent string of similar robberies.

Orange County sheriff's deputies said the Holiday Inn Express at 7900 Conway Road was robbed around 4:15 a.m. by two masked gunmen.

According to deputies, the gunmen entered the hotel and demanded cash and other items.  The clerk complied, and the assailants fled in an unknown direction, deputies said.

No one was injured.

Law enforcement officials have linked at least 11 hotel and other robberies across Central Florida since early December, but no arrests have been made.

Orange County Sheriff's Deputies said Monday afternoon that robbers have targeted 6 hotels and restaurants within the county limits in the past month, all in a very similar way. Authorities are investigating upwards of 11 robberies in all, from Lake Mary to Davenport, involving masked men.

"We're making some headway but we are having issues with these individuals because they're dangerous," said Sgt. Parks Duncan. "They're coming in, rounding up people, holding them at gun point."

Sgt. Duncan announced Monday afternoon that deputies have strong leads and are communicating with other local law enforcement agencies.

"We're constantly talking back and forth and sharing information, so we're putting all the pieces of the puzzle together, and it takes time," said Duncan.

Sgt. Duncan said the robberies don't make sense because the robbers are not getting away with much money.

"I think these are not rocket scientists, because this is not worth it. They're not getting that much money, it's not worth the risk," said Duncan.

Sgt. Duncan said deputies are increasing patrols around hotels and he believes the technique will be effective based on confessions from past robbery suspects.

Deputies believe the robbers may be part of a larger group or some of them may be copy cat criminals.

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