Charges filed in recent spree of car thefts at area hotels

An arrest in unrelated case helped bring charges against a Kansas City, Mo. man in connection with a string of robberies that ended with a violent confrontation in a KCI hotel parking lot. Roderick Thompson, 18, faces four felony counts of tampering with a motor vehicle for his role in an apparent crime spree on Feb. 10. In an interview with the Kansas City Police Department, Thompson said that four individuals broke into about “50 or 60” cars on Feb. 19 that occurred at various area hotels, according to a probable cause statement.

Thompson was arrested nine days later on an unrelated manner when police learned he had knowledge of the crime.

Authorities responded to the Microtel Inn & Suites after 3 a.m. on Feb. 10 and discovered two assault victims and three vehicles that had been broken into in the parking lot. According to the first victim, he heard the car alarm go off on his Dodge Charger and went outside to see a Mercedes C-Class backed into the space next to his vehicle with an unknown black male inside the Charger.

Two black males jumped into the Mercedes, and someone inside the vehicle began firing shots at him. The victim was uninjured and noticed three bullet holes in the windshield of the Mercedes as the suspects drove off. One of the bullets fired apparently struck a second victim inside his adjacent hotel room. He was asleep when he awoke to pain in his leg attributed to a bleeding wound.

The second victim noticed a bullet hole in the window of his room, and after observing emergency lights outside, he went and informed authorities of his injury.

Surveillance footage backed up the story of the first victim. About 5 hours later, a tip led authorities to a silver Mercedes C-Class abandoned with three bullet holes in the windshield at an apartment complex off of Troost Avenue in downtown Kansas City.

A check of the plates revealed the vehicle to be stolen out of Overland Park, Kan., and a 9-mm shell casing was located in the vehicle during processing.

Thompson filled in some of the gaps from that night during his interview, saying that there were four total individuals involved that night in targeting vehicles at hotels. According to him, a man known as “Peanut” used a “window punch” to break into the Charger and steal various items, and another accomplice fired the shots from inside the Mercedes.

The other vehicles found damaged that night were part of the break-in spree and were not hit with the bullets fired from the gun, according to Maj. Roger Lewis of the Kansas City Police Department’s North Patrol Division.

According to the probable cause statement, Thompson admitted driving that night but claimed the other three were the perpetrators of the thefts and shots fired. Neither of the other two people mentioned in the document have been charged at this time.

Thompson remains in custody at the Jackson County Detention Center, according to a check of records on Tuesday, Feb. 24, and he faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted on all of the charges filed Friday, Feb. 20 in Platte County.