Auto thefts from hotel parking near DIA increasing

Guest feels thieves target hotels near DIA

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DENVER – A local hotel sells itself as a place where you can leave your car before catching a flight out of Denver International Airport. Whether it's still there when you return from your trip is a different story.

Contact7 spoke with a man whose truck was taken and found out he's not the first to fall victim.

When Tim Bicknell parked his truck at the Hampton Inn on Tower Road, in order to catch a flight the next morning, he didn’t think a thief had other plans for it.

"We stay at the hotel, park our vehicle there. Put a tag in the window and catch the shuttle," said Bicknell.

He and his wife flew out of DIA for a business trip, and when they returned later that week and took the shuttle to the hotel, the truck was gone.

"I felt violated. I was panicked. I knew as soon as they turned the corner that my truck had been stolen. It's a bummer," said Bicknell.

He said Hampton Inn was unaware of what happened, but that neighboring hotels were the only ones with security measures, like surveillance cameras, in place.

"The manager next door said, 'We have a major problem with this,'" said Bicknell, recounting his conversation.

Contact7 checked DPD’s Denver Crime Map and found that 14 vehicles had been stolen from the area since August. Almost every one had been taken directly from a hotel parking lot, including three from the Hampton Inn.

Denver PD told Contact7 they know it’s a growing problem around the airport and plan to work with city council and hotel managers to try and better protect the area.

That's a little too late for Tim, but he hopes others learn from this.

"I think they need to improve their security. They need a sign that says we've had a problem with a lot of vehicles being stolen. Please beware of this before you park," said Bicknell.

Hampton Inn hotel management told Contact7 they plan to add more security and surveillance for open parking lots and to change the vehicle tags. They also said they were not aware of any incidents, except for the most recent thefts over the summer.

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