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

More in News

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014.
Aurora Forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of March. 19

State Sen. Bert Stedman, center, co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, presides over a committee hearing Thursday. The committee on Monday approved an $8.4 million fast-track supplemental budget to address staff shortages in processing food stamps, public defenders and legal advocates for vulnerable residents. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Bill with funds to address food stamps backlog goes to governor

Legislature gives near-unanimous approval to hiring extra staff to fix months-long backlog

Hoonah’s Masters Bracket team poses for a group photo on Saturday after being crowned this year’s champs for the M bracket in the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament at JDHS. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Hoonah crowned Gold Medal Masters Bracket champs

Hoonah’s Albert Hinchman named MVP.

President Joe Biden speaks during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 23, 2023, celebrating the 13th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Recent moves by President Joe Biden to pressure TikTok over its Chinese ownership and approve oil drilling in an untapped area of Alaska are testing the loyalty of young voters, a group that’s been largely in his corner. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Biden’s moves on Willow, TikTok test young voters

A potential TikTok ban and the Alaska drilling could weigh down reelection bid.

Students dance their way toward exiting the Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé gymnasium near the end of a performance held before a Gold Medal Basketball Tournament game between Juneau and Hydaburg. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Over $2,500 raised for Tlingit language and culture program during Gold Medal performance

A flurry of regionwide generosity generated the funds in a matter of minutes.

Legislative fiscal analysts Alexei Painter, right, and Conor Bell explain the state’s financial outlook during the next decade to the Senate Finance Committee on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Legislators eye oil and sales taxes due to fiscal woes

Bills to collect more from North Slope producers, enact new sales taxes get hearings next week.

The FBI Anchorage Field Office is seeking information about this man in relation to a Wednesday bank robbery in Anchorage, the agency announced Thursday afternoon. Anyone with information regarding the bank robbery can contact the FBI Anchorage Field Office at 907-276-4441 or Tips can be submitted anonymously.  (FBI)
FBI seeks info in Anchorage bank robbery

The robbery took place at 1:24 p.m. on Wednesday.

Kevin Maier
Sustainable Alaska: Climate stories, climate futures

The UAS Sustainability Committee is hosting a series of public events in April…

Reps. Tom McKay, R-Anchorage, and Andi Story, D-Juneau, offering competing amendments to a bill increasing the per-student funding formula for public schools by $1,250 during a House Education Committee meeting Wednesday morning. McKay’s proposal to lower the increase to $150 was defeated. Story’s proposal to implement an increase during the next two years was approved, after her proposed amounts totalling about $1,500 were reduced to $800.
Battle lines for education funding boost get clearer

$800 increase over two years OKd by House committee, Senate proposing $1,348 two-year increase

Most Read