Travelodge Hotel robbed, 2 assaulted

As she was checking in for a business trip Tuesday night at the Travelodge Hotel, Debbie Shepersky said a man appearing to wave a gun around came up behind her shouting instructions, then pressed a weapon against her face.

The robbery Tuesday marks the second such incident for the Mendenhall Valley hotel since September, both following a similar pattern, according to police.

The Juneau Police Department said the man entered the hotel about 7:53 p.m. “with his arm extended and hand covered under his sleeve as if he had a gun.”

Shepersky said when what appeared to be a weapon was pointed at her face, she placed her money and phone on the counter. But the suspect didn’t take it.

“This stuff was happening in the blink of an eye,” Shepersky said. “It happens so fast that there was no time to react or prepare or get away.”

The 911-call to the Juneau Police Department was prompted after Shepersky was seen running into the adjoining Mi Casa restaurant shouting that a man was inside the hotel with a gun.

Shepersky said she managed to escape the scene to call for help after another guest waiting for a bus tried to intervene. The robber punched the man, then assaulted the hotel attendant behind the counter. Lt. Kris Sell said a medical team was not called to address the injuries.

After taking an unknown amount of money from the register the suspect fled on foot. Shepersky said another man chased the suspect when he left the hotel, but lost him.

Officers who arrived at the scene around 7:57 p.m. were not able to find the suspect, described as being 6-feet tall, 250 pounds and wearing all black clothing and a ski mask.

Shepersky said after the incident, management offered their apologies but the rest of the check-in was “business as usual.”

A representative from the Travelodge did not return calls from the Empire.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact police at 586-0600.

Different robbery, similar situation

The Travelodge was robbed Sept. 23 in a similar fashion when a man with a “cloth-type” bag over his hand robbed the hotel clerk around 8:38 p.m. In that robbery, the suspect also fled on foot. That suspect matched a different description than Tuesday’s robber. According to police, the Sept. 23 suspect was a white male about 30 years old, about 5’8” to 5’10” in height and weighing 200 pounds.

That incident was captured on the hotel’s video surveillance cameras. The video shows a man walking up to the counter, dressed all in black with his sweatshirt hood up, sunglasses on and a mask covering the lower part of his face. The man is seen placing an empty garbage bag on the counter to collect the money.

• Contact reporter Paula Ann Solis at 523-2272 or at paula.solis@juneauempire.com.

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