Georgia Police Looking for Hotel Breakfast Buffet Grifter

There’s apparently a (#relatable) buffet bandit making the rounds at local breakfast spreads for hotel guests.
September 28, 2018, 3:00pm
Photo: Getty Images - PhotoAlto/Gabriel Sanchez

More than half of the TripAdvisor reviews for the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Dalton, Georgia mention its complimentary breakfast offerings. Several guests marveled at the range of items that are available—including pancakes, sausages, and biscuits and gravy—while others just agreed that it was a better-than-average hotel spread. That’s helpful information for anyone who might be planning an overnight stay in Dalton, and even better information for someone who just wants to score free sausage.


The Dalton Police Department is currently looking for a man who reportedly walked into the Holiday Inn Express, helped himself to breakfast, and then leisurely wandered through the halls of the hotel. Then he left. He didn’t check out: My dude wasn’t staying at the hotel in the first place.

“I think he knew,” Cecy Lagunas, the hotel’s front office manager told WRCB. “This hotel is known for its breakfast.” Lagunas said she told her General Manager about the man after seeing him walking through the hotel “looking lost.” The two of them confronted him, and he said that he was “just checking how easy it is to get into hotels and get free stuff." The GM told him to hit the road, and he did.

The next day, he was spotted at a Quality Inn, letting himself into an unlocked room that was being cleaned. (Maybe he missed the morning meal, or maybe he didn’t bother: one TripAdvisor reviewer noted that “there was hot breakfast, but no biscuits.”) The day after that, he told a clerk at the Super 8 that he’d forgotten his phone in a room and would like to be allowed to retrieve it. The clerk threatened to call the police, so he left.

“If nothing else, it should tell you the clerks are paying attention to who is coming in, who is going, they have good systems for security,” Assistant Chief Chris Crossen of the Dalton Police Department told the news station. “They're able to watch these videos and tell that somebody just doesn't look right and that they were willing to call us and let us know.”

ORRRRRR, it tells us that we can read a book, have some biscuits and gravy, and then leave without incident. Regardless, the man hasn’t been seen since he tried to get into a room at the Super 8. (Dude, go back: Apparently, they have a waffle machine).

Several years ago, about 85 miles south in Dunwoody, Georgia, Roche Harris was arrested for helping himself to the continental breakfast offerings at the Staybridge Hotel. Harris’ mistake wasn’t walking in and making himself a plate; it was allegedly throwing hot water at the hotel manager who confronted him, and then impersonating a police officer on his second breakfast-only visit to the Staybridge.

If you’re reading this, Hotel Breakfast Bandit, there’s a Hampton Inn in Dalton that apparently has pretty good waffles. Bon appetit!