Crooks target multiple families staying overnight in Memphis motel

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Several families traveling through Memphis say they were targeted by crooks at the Sleep Inn on Old Austin Peay Highway.

The Johnson family put everything they owned into a U-Haul, only to have thieves steal the joy of their new beginning.

"It looked like the Marshall’s came in and evicted me," said DeMarco Johnson.

The family decided to spend the night in Memphis while driving from Georgia to Oklahoma.

"They pulled everything out; chairs, couches, boxes," said Johnson.

Just months ago the couple tied the knot. Now they’re covering shattered windows with bags, picking up potted plants and picture frames -- all things they would’ve put in their living room to make their new house a home.

"They ransacked our stuff," said Johnson.

Everything lying on the lawn of this Sleep Inn off Old Austin Peay Highway. Their son stripped down to only the shoes on his feet. And all of their Christmas gifts are gone.

All of the victims told WREG they purposely parked in front of cameras to keep themselves from becoming a target but even those measures didn’t keep thieves away.

WREG was rolling as this couple from Louisiana walked out to their truck for the first time to find they were also targeted.

In their case, the thieves got away with more than $150,000 worth of business equipment and a wallet filled with priceless keepsakes.

"There were trinkets in my wallet that my daughter made for me that I’ve had since she was 3 and she’s 13 now," said Pam Giroir.

Both families said the crooks won't get away scot-free.

"Karma is a mug," added Johnson.

Police said the break-ins happened just before 6 a.m., and at least one of the four camera's were rolling at the motel.

The motel owner has reimbursed the families for their stay.

A security guard was supposed to be on duty but wasn't working during the break-ins. The motel would not say why security wasn't on duty.