Police started noticing a string of break-ins back in May. According to police, Donte Norman was targeting cars parked at hotels up and down I-40 in Cary including the Umstead Hotel and Spa, Comfort Inn and Suites, and the Courtyard by Marriott.
Authorities also said they believe he targeted several motels located off Hospitality Court.
In many of the cases, detectives said Norman made off with electronics; cell phones and tablets. In others, he got small amounts of cash. He even scored some hand tools but worst of all, Cary Police say Norman took a rifle.
"It's going to be in the hands of someone who does not need it. Responsible gun ownership, you should make sure the weapon is secure," said Capt. Randall Rhyne.
This type of scheme was nothing new for Norman, police said -- he has several outstanding cases with other agencies in Wake County -- but it was good old-fashioned police work that did him in.
"We checked surrounding businesses, checked the videos, did some surveillance and did some special operations in the area. And we actually were able to identify him during a traffic stop through one of our special operations," Rhyne said.
So how do you secure valuables that you can't or don't necessarily feel comfortable taking into a hotel?
- Call ahead to see if concierge or front desk can help out
- Use the safe inside the room
- Leave what you don't need at home