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Metro Phoenix police search for tech-minded hotel thieves

PHOENIX — Thieves have hit dozens of hotels across the Valley since January and investigators have a big challenge in stopping them.

Thieves posing as guests are using a device that plugs into a port on hotel doorknobs and get the keycard access number. When the occupants are out of the room, the hackers go in and go to work stealing. They have even left with someone else’s luggage.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Darren Burch said there is little guests can do to protect themselves because the hotels haven’t come up with a method to stop the hackers.

“When you see someone using a device plugging into the port on the door, that’s not normal. They’re up to no good. Get hold of hotel management and they can call 911,” he said.

Silent Witness is offering a $1,000 reward for information that will lead to the arrest of the thieves. Anyone with information is encouraged to call 480-W-I-T-N-E-S-S (480-948-6377) or 1-800-343-TIPS.