PHOENIX - The Richter family thought moving their daughter Lauren from Seattle to Arizona for college would be an exciting experience. Apparently they thought wrong.
"I thought this only happened in movies," Lauren said.
The recent high school graduate had just arrived in Phoenix to start college at Grand Canyon University. After a long flight, she and her family dropped off their bags at the Sheraton Crescent at I-17 and Dunlap Avenue and went to dinner.
"We came back and all of our stuff was gone," Heide Richter said. "Our bags, our laptops, our sunglasses, credit cards, passports, everything my daughter brought down to college was missing."
The family called down to the front desk, where they claim a woman said a family cousin was just there saying her room key wasn't working and needed a new one. The Richters said a security guard told them he let a girl in the room and she confirmed the belongings were hers.
"You gave a complete random stranger the key to my room?" Richer yelled as she explained her conversation with the front desk.
Security also allegedly showed the Richters surveillance video of the girl who claimed to be their cousin. 12 News has chosen to disguise the girl's face because Phoenix police cannot yet confirm she is a suspect.
A representative at the Sheraton Crescent told 12 News they "are working with authorities ... and the safety and security of our guests is the most important thing to us." The Richters also said the hotel has since reached out, asking for receipts to everything they need to replace, vowing to "make it right."
As for Lauren, she's a little shaken up but not willing to leave Phoenix just yet.
"Yeah, I'll give it a second chance, but if something else happens, I don't know," Lauren said with a smile on her face.
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