Midwest City police are asking the public’s help in identifying a burglary suspect who targeted the La Quinta on Tinker Diagonal, stealing from an Arkansas family in town for their young son's surgery.
The Kindles were staying there the week of May 31, when 6-year-old Caleb was scheduled to have an operation to repair the tendons in his feet at OU Children's. They got quite the shock when they returned from breakfast the morning of the big surgery.
Someone had gone into their hotel room and stolen $250 cash, IDs, credit cards, insurance cards and car keys worth $500, as well as Caleb's Nintendo Switch, bought just a week and a half earlier.
“We got the game system just because we knew that he would be down and wouldn’t be able to run and play and just something to keep his mind occupied,” said mother Cassy Kindle.
Immediately reporting the crime to hotel management, Kindle was informed of a recurring problem there.
“She says that sometimes the door doesn’t lock properly, that it may sound like it clicks and it locks,” Kindle recalled of her conversation with the general manager.
Sure enough, surveillance video shows the suspect trying to push open multiple doors on the hall before finding his way into the Kindles' room.
“He was somebody off the street,” said Kindle. “He comes in off the street though the front door, washes his hands, goes to eat breakfast for free and that’s when he starts pushing doors.”
From the hotel, the man made a beeline for a shopping center two miles away, where he tried, but failed, to use the stolen credit cards to make more than $5,000 in purchases at Best Buy and an Ulta beauty store. The first purchase attempt was made just minutes after the theft.
The family raced to the hospital after filing the police report, and made it in time for the surgery. Caleb is now walking again, and officers are now asking the public for help because they have not been able to identify the man.
Kindle told News 9 the hotel denied their insurance claim because the family failed to close their door all the way, despite a manager admitting to an issue with the locks. The family has since paid to replace the property that was stolen.