Man sought in TV thefts from hotels

Suspect caught on surveillance video in Vancouver, Portland

By Bob Albrecht, Columbian Staff Reporter

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An unidentified man captured on surveillance video Thursday carting a 42-inch television away from a Vancouver hotel is believed to have carried out similar thefts in Portland.

The suspect was described as a light-skinned male in his 30s with short dark hair and an average build.

On surveillance video provided by Homewood Suites by Hilton to KATU-TV, the Columbian’s news partner, the man can be seen using a hand truck to haul away the TV wrapped in yellow hotel linens. After loading the TV, a DVD player and four table linens into a green Ford Escort wagon, the man returned the hand truck and left the scene.

The items were taken from a conference room at the waterfront hotel, 701 S.E. Columbia Shores Blvd. Vancouver police investigators were expected to view the video sometime Monday.

“We had a meeting in there during the day,” said Kari Jonassen, the hotel’s general manager. “At about six at night, (the video) shows him wheeling the TV out. He was a nice thief because he returned everything, except the TV.”

The heist matches the circumstances of similar thefts carried out at Staybridge Suites and Country Inn & Suites on May 22 and 27, respectively. Both hotels are near Portland International Airport.

The Staybridge burglary was also captured on video, but the theft at the Country Inn was not. Police in Portland have taken reports on those incidents.

“They had TVs stolen from a guest room, each one of them,” Jonassen said. “It’s the exact same car. This just makes me so mad that somebody has the gall to do this.”

Televisions stolen from guest rooms won’t work outside the hotel, said Jonassen. The conference room TV will, however.

The man was not a guest at any of the hotels. “He looks like a typical guest,” she said. “I’m sure he can get around easily.”

The stolen TVs were valued at about $1,000 each. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Vancouver Police Department at 360-487-7399.