MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Nearly every car in a large parking lot outside an East Memphis hotel was either vandalized or burglarized Thursday night, and some of the victims say they're upset about a lack of security, saying no one seemed overly concerned.
Police say "several" vehicles were broken into at the Hampton Inn off Walnut Grove — one victim put the number at 20, hotel staff guessed between 12 and 15. Windows were smashed, valuables were taken and no one here seems overly concerned.
“It was like every other car. There were windows broken, out, there was damage to each of these vehicles,” victim Kathy Owens said.
Memphis Police say only four cars reported property taken, but one of them was missing a Glock .45. Victims were told to fill out incident reports at the hotel, but the company claims they’re not responsible for any missing items, regardless of potentially deadly consequences.
"That’s one more gun that’s on the street to do harm to people out here," Owens said. "That’s one more gun in a robbery, one more gun for the loss of someone’s life.”
WREG walked around the property and counted zero security cameras, and only three signs warning that the company will no* be held responsible for any stolen property. WREG reached out to management but did not get a response.
Victims claim that police told them break-ins are a frequent problem at this location, and a quick search of social media suggests this is true. Patrons are hopeful that someone steps up before the consequences get even worse.
"The hotel should take some accountability for this," Owens said. "If we care about our streets here in Memphis, there are things we can do to make this better.”
MPD took evidence from the scene, including a screwdriver that was found inside one of the vandalized cars, but any suspects are still at large.
— By Peter Fleischer