Armed Guards Help Cut Down Crime at Motel 6

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SACRAMENTO --

Sacramento's top prosecutor says the Motel 6 chain has stepped up to address crime issues at its half-dozen motels in the Sacramento area.

Just how bad was the problem? In the 30 months ending in June, there were 5,300 calls for service at Motel 6's -- that’s an average of 10 calls for each of the chain's 550 rooms. Those calls ran the gamut  from prostitution to drug dealing to violent crimes.

"They were magnets for crime," said Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.

Sacramento City, County and Rancho Cordova got together with the motel chain to attack the issue.

A five-year agreement called for the motel to add 24-hour security guards, arming them at night. Visitors are prohibited after 8 p.m.

The motel chain, once confronted with the problem,  also made other safety changes.

“Security systems, lighting , tow away zones that they’re going to enforce, so it’s very clear they only want law-abiding citizens on their property," Schubert said.

The motel chain sent their CEO to Sacramento to address the problem because they want to do business here long term.  It didn’t hurt that the DA had a big negotiating card.

"We could have sued them, we definitely made that very clear to them, but at the end of it all, we all agreed what is our end game," Schubert said.

As part of the agreement, Motel 6 will fork over $750,000 for various safety and education programs to help its staff and other motel operators.

Since the motel initiated security measures in December, the message is clear to undesirables.

“What I hear on the streets is that not only is law enforcement very happy with what’s been occurring, but the word on the street is very clear, don’t bother going to Motel 6.