Florida man charged after stealing items from WL hotel

Christopher Grooms (Photo Provided/Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Office)
Christopher Grooms (Photo Provided/Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Office)

TIPPECANOE CO., Ind. (WLFI) – A Florida man has been charged with multiple felonies after police said he stole items from the Hilton Garden Inn in Lafayette.

According to court documents, officers responded to the Hilton Garden Inn on E. State Street in West Lafayette Tuesday in reference to a smoke alarm. Officers went to the sixth floor on a report of a “smell of fire.” Due to standing water, the room was quickly located.

Officers entered the room to find Christopher Grooms, 30, of Florida exiting the room with his belongings. Officers found a broken sprinkler head in the room.

The hotel manager, Christy Kuntz, advised police that Grooms had previously checked into a different room. However, he was moved to a second room after “he complained that several items were missing” from the first room. Kuntz said there was significant damage to the hotel as a result of the sprinkler system being activated.

Officers spoke with Grooms outside the hotel. Upon further investigation of his belongings, officers located several items that belonged to the hotel, including a pillow, blanket and coffee maker. Grooms was arrested for theft at that time.

In addition to hotel-owned items, officers said they found two glass pipes, a bag of marijuana, a loaded silver and black Smith and Wesson revolver and more rounds of ammunition.

Grooms was transported to Tippecanoe County Jail for possession of a handgun without a permit, theft, possession of stolen property and possession charges for marijuana and paraphernalia.

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