WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Winston-Salem police are asking for the public’s help identifying a man they say robbed two hotels while holding their employees at gunpoint.
“We don’t want this to become a deadly encounter with a clerk, or with a citizen, or with the armed criminal,” said Detective Jason Flynn, of the Winston-Salem Police Department.
The first robbery took place at the Days Inn, on Germanton Road, around 9:45 p.m. Sunday. Surveillance video shows a man, covering his face with a cloth, while ordering the clerk at gunpoint. The clerk turns over cash before the man exits, in an encounter which lasted less than a minute.
The second robbery happened around 11:45 p.m. Wednesday, at the Winston-Salem Hotel and Spa, on University Parkway. The suspect, dressed in the same clothing, once again with a cloth covering his face, held a female employee at gunpoint while ordering her out of the office and to the front desk.
“She told me he came in as if he was going to the lobby bathroom,” said the hotel’s Assistant General Manager, Anthony Acoff.
Once again, the robbery took less than a minute to complete.
“This is a nightmare to be honest with you,” Acoff said. “I look at my staff, my team, as family and it’s just like it happened to a family member.”
A third video shows the suspect without a cloth over his face, walking out of a convenience store. Police have released the video in the hope someone can identify him before he strikes again.
“It could take one person walking in, and what he thinks he controls the situation, and has it going as he planned it, it suddenly goes out the window,” Flynn said.
Police encourage any employees who may be threatened by an armed robber to follow their demands.
“It’s just money,” Flynn said.