Clerk escapes robber at Orange hotel

Ross Smith, 53, of Orange has been arrested in an aggravated robbery with a knif

UPDATE 8/26/2015: Officers have arrested 53-year-old Ross Smith of Orange for aggravated robbery in relation to the incident caught on camera, OPD reported Aug. 26. According to the report, Smith was identified from the video and an arrest warrant was served at about 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 25.


Police in Orange are looking for a man who tried to rob a hotel in the city on Aug. 23. Video of the incident shows the suspect brandishing a knife at the attendant in the office, but the clerk was able to quickly escape and call the police, reports the Orange Police Department.

According to a news release from OPD, officers responded to the reported robbery attempt at the Executive Inn in the 4300 block of 27th Street at about 12:30 a.m. The motel employee told investigators that an unknown man entered the business, displayed a kitchen knife and demanded money. The clerk was reportedly able to lock himself in a secondary office and escape through a side door. The clerk then knocked on a room at the hotel and used a customer's cell phone to alert the authorities. The thwarted robber fled

In the surveillance video, a lean man, disheveled, with light brown or blonde hair, enters the office and goes to the counter to speak with the attendant. The attendant appears to answer a question, and the man leaves the hotel office. He comes back inside, approaches the counter, and pulls a long knife out of a sheath from behind his back, pointing it menacingly at the clerk. The clerk disappears from the video rapidly, presumably locking himself in the secondary office at that time. In the video, the suspect is seen running behind the counter to go after the clerk, knife outstretched. He then kicks the door where the clerk vanished before leaving the hotel empty-handed.

Police report that it appears the suspect arrived and left the scene of the crime in a silver, four-door passenger car.

The video of the robbery attempt may be viewed at

Anyone with information regarding the identity of the suspect should contact the Orange Police Department at (409) 883-1026.