EMPORIA, Va. (WRIC) — Emporia Police are looking for two suspects who systematically broke into more than a dozen cars in hotel parking lots across the city last Thursday.
From the night of June 1 to the early morning hours of June 2, two suspects went to several hotels in the city of Emporia, breaking into about 20 cars and stealing valuables, including laptops, wallets and other personal belongings.
According to Captain Jerry Wright, the cars were all parked at hotels located around the Interstate 95/Highway 58 interchange — suggesting the suspects may not be local residents, but traveling through the area.
“It wasn’t just a spur of the moment thing,” he said. The thieves were well-equipped, wearing bandanas to conceal their faces and gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints. They broke into the vehicles using a window punch, a tool that may have helped them avoid triggering car alarms even as they knocked out car windows.
Justin Stowall was one of the victims of the break-ins. He was staying at the Hampton Inn along with his wife and two kids, visiting his mother, who lives in Emporia. He told 8News that he first heard about the thefts at 9 a.m. on June 2, when hotel staff asked him to come to the lobby.
“There were people lined up waiting to speak to the police,” he said. A rear side window of his car had been broken, and he said the thieves took two computers, his check book and some jewelry. “It cost me $700 to repair the window,” he said.
Although there were no cameras covering the parking lot where Stowall was parked, police did release two still images from another security camera nearby.
The images show that the thieves were apparently driving a four-door sedan with temporary plates. Anyone with information is asked to call Emporia Police at 434-634-7320.