• Reward bumped to $15K for information on hotel, restaurant robberies


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Federal investigators contributed to a reward to catch a group of dangerous robbers, targeting hotels and restaurants in central Florida.

    Since December, there have been 14 robberies in different locations across four counties.

    "We are working together to make sure we put some bad guys in jail," said Sheriff Jerry Demings of the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

    The reward to find the criminals was increased to $15,000 with the help of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.

    Crimeline told WFTV it's a rare move that the reward amount is high. A normal felony case starts out at just $1,000.

    "They realize the violence in these crimes. The takeover robberies like this and the potential for someone to get hurt, and so they've stepped in," said Barb Bergin of Crimeline.

    The men have hit more than a dozen restaurants and hotels. The most recent was at a Red Roof Inn on International Drive.

    "It's got to be alarming, though, when you see them do this over and over and over again," said WFTV reporter Kenneth Craig.

    "Well, it is concerning to us. That's why we work together with the Orlando police as well as ATF to make sure we make arrests as quickly as we can," Demings said.

    The sheriff is confident the increased reward will make a difference.

    Crimeline told WFTV that so far, tips have been limited.

    Detectives ask that anyone who may have information concerning the robberies call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS (8477).

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    Reward bumped to $15K for information on hotel, restaurant robberies