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Crime scene investigation costs Amarillo hotel

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An Amarillo hotel is out thousands of dollars after it's forced to shut off it's gas while police investigate a crime scene on the property. Saturday, the Holiday Inn near I-40 and Ross had to shut off its gas after its gas main was run over by a woman who stole a van.

"The gas company had to shut the gas off, in this hotel our hot waiter boilers run on gas," said Holiday Inn's General Manager Tom Muse. "We were without hot water for almost 12 hours and as a result of that we lost 26 reservations which is about 300 dollars in revenue that was displaced."

Normally, a business might turn to its insurance company for damages like these, but not in this case.

"According to our insurance company there was no liability for them because of the fact that it was a crime scene," added Muse. "It if had been a gas company issue, a faulty main or something, then it would've been something we could go to out insurance company for.

Muse hopes the woman who ran over the gas main will have to pay them back in restitution fees that could be assessed to her in court. Potter County District Attorney Randall Sims said while that is a possibility, that doesn't always mean it's feasible.

"Most of the time, in order to collect stuff, they've got to be have the ability to pay for it. With fines, court costs, all of that, restitution, it's a matter of do they have the ability to pay. So, assessing and collecting are two different things."

Even if the defendant is able to pay, if they serve any time, probation or parole, it could be years before the person they owe sees any of that money.

"So, even if it's assessed and could be collected, they could pay, it could be a long time before they actually pay it?" NewsChannel Ten asked Sims. "Correct," he answered. "And, like I said, probation is like an interest free loan."

"It looks like we're just going to be eating the loss," said Muse.

Muse says he's fortunate his hotel is older and more established, otherwise this blow to the business' wallet would've hurt them a lot worse.

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