Two Men Arrested In Hotel Parking Lot Mugging

KILLEEN (February 25, 2010)—Killeen police arrested two men Wednesday after an early-morning robbery in the parking lot of the Residence Inn and Suites at 400 E. Central Texas Expressway where a woman said an armed man wearing a hooded jacket demanded money from her and then escaped in a light-colored vehicle that another man was driving.

An officer spotted a car matching the description of the getaway vehicle in the area of Trimmier Road and Lowes Boulevard and officers pulled the car over in the 200 block of East Jasper.

The two men inside were detained and the victim later identified them as the robbers.

Joshua Kalani, 21, and Jason Whitney Laird, 27, were charged with aggravated robbery.

They were ordered held in lieu of bonds of $100,000 each.

The robbery was the latest in a series of six holdups, the first of which was Tuesday.

It’s not clear whether all six are related.

Links in the Chain of Robberies?
Police agencies have been pooling their investigations in an attempt to link the robberies.

"We definitely have leads with these cases," Temple Police Lt. Edward Best said on Wednesday.

"We are in contact with other agencies and are comparing our notes and seeing what, if there is a possibility if these are related," Best said.

Robbery No. 1
The first robbery happened in the parking lot of Killeen's Hilton Garden Inn where Killeen police spokeswoman Carroll Smith said a man armed with a gun walked into the lobby at around 8:50 p.m. Tuesday and demanded money.

No one was injured but the robber got away.

Killeen police are looking for a black man who may be in his 20s.

Robbery No. 2
The next robbery happened 10 minutes later, a around 9 p.m. Tuesday in the parking lot of the Barnes & Noble in the Market Heights Shopping Center in Harker Heights where an armed robber approached a man and demanded his valuables.

The intended victim quickly drove away, but saw the would-be robber run to a car parked nearby.

The man provided a description of both the car and the robber, police said.

Robbery No. 3
About 30 minutes later, at around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, someone drove up beside a car in the parking lot of the McDonald's on 6th Avenue in Belton, got out and demanded money from the vehicle's occupant.

No weapon was displayed in the robbery and no one was injured.

Robbery No. 4
Then sometime before 10 p.m. three 17-year-olds were robbed after a car pulled up and three of the four men got out.

One pulled a gun and demanded money.

Robbery No. 5
The fifth robbery occurred just after 3:30 a.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of the Walgreens store on 31st Street in Temple.

A delivery truck driver told police he was approached by a man with a gun who demanded money.

The would-be robber left empty-handed, however.



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