Tennessee man on the run after several hotel thefts

(Photo: Sweetwater Police)

SWEETWATER (WATE) – Sweetwater police are looking for a suspect after items were taken from several hotel rooms.

Investigators say a room was broken into around 7:30 a.m. Thursday. According to the report, the theft may be connected to other incidents in the past several years.

Kevin Watson, a detective for Sweetwater police, said the suspect has been doing this since 2013. Some victims getting as much as $600 stolen.

“He’s been periodically hitting us every 6 to 8 months,” said Watson.

Eight months ago, the suspect took valuables from a room at the Quality Inn in Sweetwater. That time, a hotel employee got his license plate number.

“We ran the tag and it came back stolen. It was a stolen license plate out of Chattanooga,” said Watson.

Law enforcement say the suspect tends to walk past the hotel lobby and enters a room that is not locked. The report says the suspect may wait for victims to start loading their vehicles before entering the room. Police believe the suspect has tried to use stolen credit cards in Athens, Cleveland and Lenoir City.

The report says the suspect may be from Knoxville or Chattanooga. He was last seen driving a newer model of a black sports car, that may be a Mazda. Investigators do not know that vehicle’s license tag information.

“Just getting him identified is our biggest problem,” said Watson.

If you have any information, contact the Sweetwater Police Department at 423-337-6151 or the Monroe County E-911 at 423-442-4357.

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