ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Investigators are still searching for the gunmen behind 13 violent hold-ups at a growing number of hotels in central Florida. Now hotel owners are stepping up to try to get the robbers off the streets.
On Wednesday, investigators announced that the original Crimeline reward offer of $1,000 has been bumped up to $10,000.
Tuesday afternoon, the Orange County Sheriff's Office and the Orlando Police Department held a joint news conference to talk about the hotel robbery spree, which neither agency has been able to stop.
Hotel owners have agreed to contribute money in order to increase the reward for information on the robbers.
Detectives believe the same group of people is behind 13 different robberies in four different counties.
Investigators said a variety of agencies have been in constant contact about the hotel robberies. On Wednesday about two dozen detectives from the Orange County Sheriff's Office and the Orlando Police Department sat down together to talk to each other about the robberies.
After that meeting they told Channel 9's Kenneth Craig that they are confident they will catch the robbers, with the help of the new Crimeline reward offer.
"They haven't just done this one time now, it's a least a dozen. What's so hard about this case, that's allowing them to get away, over and over again?" Craig asked Sgt. Parks Duncan of the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
"This is not out of the ordinary. This generally takes time. The last group, we worked the case for three months before we were able to come to a successful conclusion," said Duncan. "Somebody is going to get hurt. Somebody is going to get shot, killed . It has happened in the past, it will happen again if it's not stopped."
A large portion of the reward money is coming from the Hotel and Lodging Association.