Tulsa Hotel Robbery Victim Recalls Terrifying Experience

Tuesday, October 16th 2012, 7:22 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa has around 100 robberies a month. That's an average of about three people a day having someone stick a gun in their face or use force to demand money and valuables.

It can be a terrifying experience, and one woman, who used to work at a hotel that was recently robbed can attest to that.

Jae was working the front desk at the LaQuinta Inn on East Skelly back in August.

She said it had been an unusually busy night, because of the wildfires. So, when a man came in, she figured he was another customer, but he was something else entirely.

Jae had worked at two other hotels and never had any trouble. She said she enjoyed working with the public and wasn't scared to work the overnight shift at the LaQuinta at 6030 East Skelly Drive.

That day in early August was busy, because so many people had been displaced by the wildfires, and she was working extra hours. It was the first time she got to sit down all day, and then a man came in.

Reporter: "When did you realize he wasn't just a regular customer?"
Jae: "He had a McDonalds bag and he looked kinda mean. He threw a plastic bag at me and said, give me all your money."

Afraid he had a gun in that McDonalds bag, she did exactly what he told her, hoping to just get him out the door as quickly as possible.

"He just kept saying, ‘Hurry up, put the money in the bag, do it, do it, now,'" Jae said.

As he was leaving, he told her to get on the floor until his friend came back and told her she could get up.

10/15/2012 Related Story: Tulsa Police Release Surveillance Video In Hotel Robbery

On the tape, she looks cool, calm and collected, exactly what police recommend, but she said on the inside, she was a nervous wreck.

"When I watched that video yesterday, I was like, ‘Wow, I don't look like I was freaking out at all. In my head, I was incredibly petrified, just so scared," Jae said.

She said she was on auto pilot, just wanting him to leave, and after she called 911, she called her mom, and that's when she said all her emotions came bursting out and she broke down.

Jae said she knows she's lucky, because many people are hurt or killed during robberies.

"That's something I'm going to remember for the rest of my life. No, I wasn't hurt, but that's just a miracle, but it could've ended a lot differently," she said.

Jae has since moved to Utah to live with her sister.

She said she would like to work in the hotel business again and hopes she would be as calm next time, if something like that ever happened again.

Police hope someone will identify the robber. If you recognize him, you can call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.