Couple arrested after another hotel robbery

Darrin N. Stokes was also arrested on suspicion of stealing a wallet at Gerbes.

Police arrested a couple in connection with a Jan. 21 robbery at Stoney Creek Inn on Providence Road, as well other crimes in Columbia.

Darrin N. Stokes, 28, was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest, theft, third-degree assault, second-degree robbery and fraudulent use of a credit device. His girlfriend, Brie M. Anger, 30, was arrested on suspicion of two counts of forgery and one count of theft.

According to a Columbia Police Department news release, police responded to a report of a stolen wallet at Gerbes, 1729 W. Broadway. A store clerk identified Stokes as a man who fled the scene in a van. The van was traced to Pin Oak Court, where Stokes and Anger were arrested.

According to the news release, Stokes tried to flee police custody.

According to the release, the couple made incriminating statements about the Stoney Creek robbery and a theft at the Baymont Inn that the police have been investigating. They also made statements about several forgeries, the release stated.

At the Stoney Creek robbery, a man jumped over the counter and took money from the till. Nothing was taken from the front desk other than an undisclosed amount of money, a news release stated.

Representatives for the hotel were not available for comment.

The Stoney Creek Inn robbery was the latest in a string of hotel crimes.

On Nov. 24, 2007, Cynthia White, an employee of Comfort Inn, was murdered after an apparent robbery. Dwight Hayes is charged with second-degree murder in connection with White's case. He is also accused in connection with another robbery and the rape of a female employee at what was then called the Fairfield Inn, now Comfort Inn.

To combat this recent string of crimes at hotels, police are meeting with local hotels to review safety standards and implement new safety measures to protect employees and guests.

On Dec. 6, 2007, Officer Tim Thomason of the Columbia Police Department held a seminar for local hotels to detail security plans for hotels to follow. The program, the Crime Free Hotel/Motel Program, details different stages of safety that hotels must meet, including better landscaping and lighting, security cameras and proper locks, to become certified in safety.

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