By Matt Kroschel

DENVER (CBS4) – A lot of people use the hotel parking lots around the Denver International Airport for long term parking — and they pay to do so — but CBS4 has learned many of those travelers being targeted by car thieves.

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Tim Bicknell lives in Summit County and last month he decided to come down the night before an early flight and stay at the Hampton Inn on Tower Road.

The trip was a special one: the family was celebrating the birthday of his 88-year-old father-in-law at a church camp in North Carolina.

He regrets parking where he did — his Ford F-350 truck was swiped from the parking lot.


And he’s not alone.

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Denver police records show there were 23 vehicle thefts reported from the airport area between Aug. 1 and Sept. 2.

We reached out to officials at the Hampton Inn and are waiting for their response.

Bicknell says he did sign papers when he checked in — warning him the hotel wouldn’t be responsible for damage or theft in the lot. It’s now a matter of negotiating with his insurance company.

The stolen 2006 Ford F-350 extended cab has a license plate of ZI4 877. If you happen to see it cruising around, Bicknell would love for you to give police a call.

The Hampton Inn released this statement to CBS4 on Friday: Up until these recent incidents, we have never had a vehicle theft at our hotel. We have been informed by local police that this is an issue happening at all properties around the airport – not just our hotel. Neither our specific property nor the Hilton brand is being targeted.

While local authorities may be considering increasing their presence in this area, we are in the process of increasing our own security beyond standard hotel procedures for open parking lots. This includes immediately changing vehicle tags that identify short-term versus long-term parking, as well as contracting additional security and surveillance through a private security firm. To protect these new security measures, we cannot disclose any additional details of our new procedures.

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Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.