OAKLAND PARK (CBS4) – Three Italian tourists who are vacationing in South Florida didn’t get the warmest of welcomes Monday night.
They were held up while checking into the Universal Palms hotel on Powerline Road in Oakland Park.
Giuseppe Filomena, Luigi Lorusso and Luigi Fiordelisi had driven from Key West to Broward County hoping to taken in the sites of Ft. Lauderdale.
While walking in the hotel parking lot they say a man pointed a gun at them and demanded all their belongings.
They feared the worst.
“For me it was the first time someone pointed a gun in my face,” said Filomena. “I think oh my God, now it’s my time. The man was really nervous and was not an expert so it was more dangerous.”
BSO investigators located a suspect close by at the Red Roof Inn on Powerline Road. He’s identified as Travis Washington.
“They found euros in his pocket and a search warrant revealed the other property in his hotel room,” said BSO spokeswoman Dani Moschella.
Surveillance captured Washington walking through the parking lot and climbing a stairwell with the stolen bags.
The three friends are grateful BSO investigators we able to recover most of their belongings which included money, cell phones credit cards and jewelry.
“Every guy, woman of the police department, we can’t say enough,” said Filomena.
Still they say they won’t be back to Broward County. For their final days in America they are staying put on Miami Beach.
“We enjoy Miami Beach, that’s all,” said Filomena.