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A cautionary tale: Theft from room

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by farkingidiot, Jun 23, 2014.

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  1. farkingidiot

    farkingidiot High-Roller

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    Make sure you use your room safe.

    Very long story short: I brought my sister and nephew to Vegas on my dime for a special family trip. We stayed at a five star hotel (i won't name it). One day My nephew and I went down to the pool early. My sister called and said she was on the way down. She left her room, realized she didn't want to bring a piece of jewelry she was wearing and went back into the room, slipping it in a side pouch in her makeup bag under the sink. She went down to the pool to join us. An hour later, she came back up and her jewelry was gone. :(

    We contacted security (I'm leaving out a lot of details about our experiences with security) and they found, using a system that shows every time a hotel room has a key put in the door, that within 20 minutes of my sister leaving her room, housekeeping came in, then left. My sister returned to the room about 15 minutes after housekeeping. So within an hour, hotel security showed housekeeping was the only person to go into the room. We were informed theylocated and interviewed the housekeeping staff person and searched her car, finding nothing. I told them a polygraph would most likely do wonders in ferreting out the truth. They said they don't give employees polygraphs :blink: And just so you also know, %98 of hotels only have security cameras on the casino floor.

    I personally spoke with several high up supervisors during my stay, which was months ago. I ended up spending a couple of days of my vacation speaking to supervisors and getting transportation to the police station to make a report. I had to follow up upon getting home with a detective. Really colored my vacation. I understand the hotel has to wait for the police investigation to be complete before they can even think about settling, but I was amazed they haven't/didn't thrown something my way. How about you comp my room for the visit, siince it's pretty obvious your staff preson stole something from my sister's room? How about about you send me a comp for a future visit, regardless of whether or not you compensate my sister's loss through insurance. (Will they? I dunno.) Although their security, once I got to the upper levels, was extremely courteous and thorough, I couldn't believe the hotel's only reponse was basically, a repeated, "We're so sorry this happened to you."

    So, bottom line, make sure you always put your valuables in your safe. I had a couple of security staff descretely tell me thefts from rooms happen all the time. They just don't talk about them. So lock up those tablets and jewelry. Anything of value you can put in the safe, do so. From my inderstanding, the thefts that occurred are stuff that was out and available.

    What is amazing to me is my sister was only out of the rooom for an hour and only one person entered the room in that time frame, yet, to date, I have received zero compensation from the hotel. Pretty amazing, since it's obviously thier fault.
     
  2. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    You know people dont steal just once. If they kept a record I would expect them to see a pattern with theft reports and this person's shift.
    Hopefully you receive some compensation or at leadt arrest and fire the person.
     
  3. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    Well, I don't know about the "I have received zero compensation" since it was your sister's jewelery that is missing, why would they compensate you?

    Otherwise, it is just one person's word against another. Just because a guest says something doesn't make it true... it sounds like they did an investigation and gave your sister the benefit of the doubt, but the item didn't turn up. From their point of view yes, it could be that the employee stole the item, but at the same time it could also be:
    - Sister thinks she packed item, but didn't and its back home in jewelery box
    - Sister is lying, item is not actually lost
    - Sister is lying, item did not even exist
    - Sister lost item, thinks it was in the room
    - Sister lost item, knows it wasn't in the room but wants compensation for it
    - Sister had bad run in casino night before, took item to pawn shop, chased losses expecting to buy item out of pawn, that didn't work
    - Sister thought she put item in makeup bag but actually put it somewhere else
    - You took the item
    - Nephew took the item
    - Sister left door ajar and somebody else went in to the room

    Any one of those is just as plausible as the cleaning crew stealing the item, maybe even more so since the only way the item would have been found in the makeup bag would be if the cleaning crew was actually searching through the room.

    In the end trying to scam the hotel out of comps/money/compensation by reporting a lost/stolen item might not be something your sister would do, but Las Vegas is a city built on money and money attracts crime and its totally plausible that there are plenty of people that would do that, so they can't really go out and compensate everybody who reports something missing.
     
  4. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Sorry for her loss of property.

    I don't know where that 98% of hotels having no security cameras on the room floors is coming from? Every hotel I've stayed at in Vegas has had cameras in the hallways on the room floors. Are they being recorded, who knows?
     
    Christmas
  5. jr7110

    jr7110 VIP Whale

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    I ALWAYS put my valuable in the safe or lock lesser valuables in my suitcase. I agree with Auggie about the fact that it is hard to prove one person's word against another's, and the search of the housekeeper's property turned up nothing (she could have handed it off to an accomplice) but still, a guest reporting a theft should be taken a lot more seriously than the hotel just saying "we're sorry this happened to you". As far as the hotel not being very helpful, I would have told them that if they did not rectify the matter immediately in some way that was more satisfactory than a mere "I'm sorry", I was going to contact the Las Vegas Review Journal as well as the local tv news affiliates and give them the whole story. Believe me, the LAST thing they want is to have that kind of a story end up in the media.
     
  6. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    Sucks that happened to you. I agree you should always use your room safe, that's what its there for. I get pretty surprised by posts on this board I've read where people just hide their valuables inside their luggage instead of using the safe even though their room has one. If you don't trust the safe you can buy a Pacsafe portable safe. I've had one for years but never really used it. Its just a bag lined with steel webbing and has a steel security cable you lock on to something secure. Someone can open it but they'd need heavy duty wire cutters or something. It takes up almost no room in your luggage. But so far hotel safes have been fine for me.

    As far as the hotel not doing anything for you, I know it probably feels like a very cold reaction from them but I can understand why they'd be reluctant to offer you something. No one can prove anything was actually stolen. Its not like the room was broken into or anything. Especially in a casino, I bet its not uncommon for people to falsely claim something valuable was missing from their room in hopes of some compensation. Its just a sucky situation.
     
  7. simundo26

    simundo26 Low-Roller

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    i had some ray bans stolen from bellagio last year, was on the side of table the maid def took
    them, unfortunately for her they was a fake pair bought in ibiza when going to a day party
     
  8. farkingidiot

    farkingidiot High-Roller

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    Like I said earlier, I was trying to make a long story shorts, but a couple of little factoids for you all.

    1. I am a police detective myself, a fact I shared with them. (for almost thirty years now.)

    2. We have a picture of my sister wearing the jewelry as she sat at their pool the day before

    3. The makeup bag was in a different spot from where she left it just an hour prior to leaving the room.

    Yeah, I yelled at her for hiding her jewelry in the bag. She just wanted to rush out to get to us and didn't bother with the safe. FYI, they can tell if a door is left ajar. They have a monitoring system. Also, per the LVJR, :

    Here's some scary news. As of October of 2013, there were only four major Las Vegas Strip hotels that monitor the hotel halls above the gambling floor:

    MGM Grand

    Planet Hollywood

    Tropicana

    Caesars Palace (not all towers)

    These 23 major Las Vegas Strip hotels have no surveillance cameras in hotel hallways or elevator landings, an AP investigation found:

    Aria

    Ballys

    Bellagio

    Circus Circus

    Cosmopolitan

    Encore

    Excalibur

    Flamingo

    Harrahs

    Luxor

    Mandalay Bay

    Mirage

    Monte Carlo

    NYNY

    Palazzo

    Paris

    Quad

    Rio

    Riviera

    Treasure Island

    Vdara

    Venetian

    Wynn
     
  9. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty native Texan; born and bred.

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    By not naming the hotel or chain if applicable you don't do much to help alert fellow patrons of the property. If all facts are accurate a vital bit of information is missing (location of the incident). However l too am sorry for your loss and inconvenience)
     
    1st Super Bowl DT...Panthers / Browns no doubt
  10. meyers67

    meyers67 High-Roller

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    My hotel room has been robbed a few times. (Not in Vegas, but a few times traveling abroad) That re-enforced the point to always use the safe. ALWAYS use the safe.
     
  11. ams722

    ams722 Side Bet Shunner

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    What's the point of not naming the hotel?

    I want to know!
     
  12. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    Sorry to hear about this. I really hate thieves. I mean no one likes them, but I truly despise people who steal. Like many others I've been a victim of theft and the violated feeling is like a kick in the gut.

    I've read stories about the Las Vegas hotel room thefts (saw one on the 2+2 forum where it also happened to a police officer staying there and the only reason he got a resolution, it seemed, was because of his status as a LEO) and since then I am super diligent about using the safe.

    Good luck and hopefully they will be able to take care of your sister!
     
  13. JosieCat

    JosieCat VIP Whale

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    I'm really sorry that happened to your sister. It's too bad that the people that try to scam the hotels with false reports of theft ruin it for the people who are actually victims of a crime. Good reminder though to use the safe. I never put my iPad (which is the only real thing of value that I bring) in the safe. My money always is in the safe - even at night when I'm sleeping. The majority of the time, I decline housekeeping - not for fear of theft - but I just don't really feel I need it. I'm not very messy and don't need people cleaning up after me.
     
  14. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    This happened to my wheelchair friend. While staying at the MGM, he solicited a couple of prostitutes at the Trop and brought them back to our room. I left and he was taken into the bathroom by one, with the guise of showering-taking, while the other stayed in the bedroom area with the radio turned up loud. Catch a theme here - make as much noise as possible to muffle the sounds of rifling through personal belongings. By the time they completed their tag-team robbery, all his cash was gone. Moral to the story - use the safe! And perhaps moral to the story part B - stay clear of sexual offers sounding too good to be true from two girls at once.
     
  15. Nick61

    Nick61 High-Roller

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    So sorry to hear of your room invasion, my wife and I know exactly how you feel. It's a nightmare, and a very uncomfortable feeling.

    The same thing happened to us in Rome, Italy, in the 5 star Westin Excelsior Hotel, directly across the street from the American Embassy.

    I would caution you in putting too much trust in those rooms safe's. In our case, this is what they removed from our room. It also happened during daylight hours. We had just gotten off a cruise ship, and recently returned from a tour of the Vatican. After arriving to the room, we left to go out for lunch. We were only gone for perhaps 2 hours most as were tired, and we were scheduled to fly home the next morning.

    However, in that short time frame, they were able to get into our room and take everything they wanted. They weren't even fooled by my trick I often pull of leaving the T.V on, with the volume at a level you can hear when approaching the room door. No one can dissuade my believe, that people inside the hotel (employees) had something to do with this. It was simply too well calculated, perfectly timed. They had all the precise tools they needed to remove the room safe. We found the nuts, bolts, washers, etc., in the spot where the safe was. But I believe the manager had nothing to do with it, either that or he deserves an academy award for his acting job. When he entered our room, his reaction was one of genuine amazement.

    They had one perpetrator on the hotel security camera footage, wheeling our suitcase out the front door of the hotel. I agree with farking, there are view hotels that have surveillance cameras actually in the hotel room hallways. Also, sometimes the cameras you see even in retail stores, are nothing but fakes there to give the impression there's a camera. In our case, the thieves took all of our clothes out of the suitcase, threw them on the floor, then put the room safe in the suitcase. BTW, despite the footage, no arrests were ever made in this case.

    The good news in our case, we were fully reimbursed by Westin Hotel insurance. Although the claim process was tedious, and it took nearly 4 months before we agreed on the amount of reimbursement. We had considerable jewelry and cash in the safe--something we now realize is awfully stupid to do when traveling. We now have strictly fugazi (italian for fake) jewelry we travel with. Examples of some of the jewelry lost, included stuff I bought for my wife on our honeymoon, and items left to my wife from her grandmother. These clearly are things that a check from an insurance company cannot replace in sentimentality.

    I was happy to see you made a police report. Hotels have insurance for this type of thing. I'm not sure about the legalities concerning the burden of proof. In our case they did make us produce receipts or other proof of things we had. It was an incredibly painstaking process, that consumed plenty of our time. If the hotel doesn't do right by you and settle, I would consider taking them to small claims court. That's unless the amounts are so much, it exceeds the small claims level.

    My only overall advice to people, just don't leave too much in the room at one time. Of course you're better off putting things in the safe, versus leaving them on the dresser. But in our case, the safe didn't help us at all. Most importantly, leave your nice jewelry at home in a bank safety deposit box when traveling. You like nice watches and rings like we do, you get fugazi's for travel. Yes, it damages the ego a tad to know you're wearing a fake. But I'll take that pain any time, versus reliving the misery of having everything stolen away from you--forever.

    Also when we visit Vegas we deal with a nationwide bank, that has branches in Vegas. Hence, we never have more than one days worth of cash with us. When we need a cash infusion, we hit the local bank branch ATM--we always have a rental car anyway. Also, on that rare occasion when we get lucky and win some money, we take it and put it in the bank.

    One other thing I'd like to add, which confuses me to this day. While they made us jump through hoops, with receipts and documentation on the jewelry we had lost in the theft, they basically took us at our word for the amount of cash we claimed was in the safe. That one always amazed me. i guess the amount fell under their acceptable limits, but I don't know, and I didn't ask since they ultimately paid us in full.

    Good luck with your situation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  16. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    An easily avoidable experience. So I'm with those who say the hotel owes you nada. It certainly is unfortunate, though.
     
  17. ams722

    ams722 Side Bet Shunner

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    So if a person doesn't use the safe, they're responsible for people stealing things from their room and not the hotel who employees the theifs?!
     
  18. cnorth3865

    cnorth3865 Tourist

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    I am sorry about this spoiling your trip, but I had a good experience at the Gold Coast. After we arrived home, we discovered the cord to our I-pad was missing. Since it is a generation I, a new cord would cost about $50 and who would want to steal it? We did believe we left it in the room, but after several calls to housekeeping and security, we just assumed we were never going to hear a thing. Shortly after that, we received a check for $50. We were very pleased and needless to say, Boyd Gaming remains at the top of our list for customer service.
     
  19. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    In a way, yes. The thief is responsible for the theft, but the 10 seconds it took to secure the items in the hotel-provided safe would've made it impossible for there to be a theft, whether or not there was a thief on staff. It is a basic precaution and the hotel certainly makes it easy to responsibly secure one's possessions. Kinda like locking your front door at home. Now if the hotel knows there's a thief on staff and it's doing nada, that certainly brings in some culpability. But then again, the time it took to put something in a sock was all the time necessary to secure it in a safe provided for this very reason.

    But the key to this thread was the expectation the OP was somehow owed something by the hotel. Maybe better bedside manners would've been nice, but from the info we've been provided the hotel doesn't seem to owe him anything.
     
  20. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    Yeah I don't subscribe to the notion that the room occupant is responsible for the theft. Sure the safe should have been utilized but the hotel also bears some of the burden for not hiring thieves and for providing a secure environment.
     
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