Florida Hotel Thieves Busted After Pocket Dialing Front Desk

Naples, FL – On November 18, 2012 the InnPlace Hotel on Fifth Avenue South in Naples was robbed. A young woman entered the hotel and approached the clerk. She was donned in gray sweats, sunglasses, and had a black bandana shrouding her nose and mouth. The suspect put her hands in her pockets, implying she had a weapon, escorted the clerk to the front desk, and demanded money. The clerk obliged, and was ordered to lie on the floor after opening the register. The suspect fled the scene with the cash. Everything was caught on video surveillance.

The Sun Sentinel reported that while the clerk was on her cell phone with a police dispatcher, the hotel’s phone rang. Upon answering it, the clerk realized she was listening to a background conversation of a fortuitous pocket dial. The one sided phone discussion was the suspect describing what had just transpired. Another person was overheard asking if she’d left fingerprints when committing the robbery. The familiarity of the voice was unmistakable, as the clerk recognized the second voice as that of a former employee, fired two days prior, 22-year-old Ashlie Alewine.

NBC News explained how the case was cracked from there. The call logs for the hotel were obtained by Naples Police. Records reflected that a call had been received at 7:14pm from AT&T customer account holder Shelby Alewine, immediately following the robbery. When Shelby Alewine, mother of the suspect, finally met with police about a month later, she told them the phones were often shared amongst family members. She denied having any other connection or knowledge of the robbery that occurred at the hotel.

Nakilya Wright, 18-year-old sister of the suspect, was questioned by police. She admitted to the robbery and using the spoils to fund her drug habit. Ashlie Alewine was interviewed, but arrived blatantly intoxicated and uncooperative, refusing to answer questions.

Given the degree of probable cause based on the sworn statement from the victim, video surveillance, and phone records, police believe Ashlie participated in the robbery as the getaway driver. Both sisters were arrested and charged with Robbery and Petit Theft, and taken to the Collier County Jail.