Clogged toilet helps in fraud bust at hotel - FOX 13 News

Clogged toilet helps in fraud bust at hotel

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BRANDON (FOX 13) -

Sajid Chaudhry is the general manager at the Brandon Motor Lodge.

He says Gefery Pierre and Branden Jones were regular customers.

"They usually stay with us on the weekends," said Chaudhry.  "They don't create any problem for us while they're staying here."

That all changed when the pair was arrested Wednesday night after dozens of fraudulent IDs were found in their room.

"Basically, all the credit goes to my housekeeper," said Chaudhry.

He says it was business as usual for that housekeeper cleaning that room when she noticed that the toilet wouldn't stop running.

He says she went to investigate, lifted the lid and that's when she made her discovery.

"It was more than 100, it looks like more than 100 cards," said Chaudhry.

The motel called police and deactivated the pair's room key.

"We want to make sure that before they get in the room they have to come in the office for the keys," said Chaudhry.

When they returned they did indeed go to the office, and that's when law enforcement showed up to arrest them.

Pierre was arrested and charged with fraudulent use of personal information, among other things.

Jones has been charged with petit theft.

Both men are from the Miami area and investigators believe this may just be the tip of the iceberg.

"We have over 50 victims at this point and they come from all over the state," said detective Benjamin Kenney of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. "We believe this is part of a much larger criminal enterprise."

The watchful eye and quick thinking of the staff of this Brandon hotel help put the two suspects behind bars.

"Well, we hope that the people whose identity have been stolen they get their money back," said Chaudhry.

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