Crime Stoppers: Inside job at the Hilton Garden Inn

CMPD search for two men in iPad theft

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - There were $20,000 worth of iPads, laptops and cameras stolen within minutes from what was supposed to be a locked and secure hotel conference room.

This was an inside job and police have made one arrest, but two others are still on the loose.

It was a quiet Friday night just before midnight at the Hilton Garden Inn near Billy Graham Parkway. On surveillance video, you can see a 35-40 year old man walk in while talking on his phone. He's wearing a blue windbreaker and a red shirt.

He bypasses the lobby and heads directly to the side door, which requires a key for entry at night. There, he just starts hanging around.

Upstairs, a marketing company has just set up for a big conference the next morning. All their electronic gear is ready and locked up tight.

But after the doors were secured at the conference room upstairs, downstairs the first man who was hanging around the side entrance door looks straight up and stares at a surveillance camera.

"That's what is funny about this case," said CMPD Detective Tori Roddey, "The guy didn't try to look down at all like some suspects do, this guy looked up like, 'I know there's probably cameras here but we're going to do what we're going to do.'"

And here's what he did. He let a hooded man who was rolling a large suitcase through the locked side entrance. Within minutes, both men enter the elevator and head up to the conference room.

We don't see them actually stealing the iPads.

"We don't. No video of them actually stealing the iPads but, of course, walking up there with a suitcase and the other guy with a backpack with HBO on it obviously tells you they were in there to commit a crime."

So how did they get into a locked and secured conference room? The answer is they had inside help. And that inside helper was arrested.

"We've made an arrest, and there was an inside job of course for these guys to know all these iPads were going to be in the conference room," Detective Roddey said. "So we got one person, but they're not willing to talk. We need to identify these other two guys."

One of the men should be easy to identify, the other was well-covered. Police believe they are locals.

Do you think you know them? Call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. Your identity will be protected and there is reward money for your help.

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