Have you noticed when your guests have taken a little something extra from a room? Guests turned thieves are common across the world, but are now targeting $800-per-night rooms – and their takeaways would put a mall shoplifter to shame. Travel Detective, Peter Greenberg said that he once saw a guest at the Beverly Wilshire steal an entire marble fireplace. "He cut it out of the wall with a chisel. A bellboy even helped load the pieces in a truck."
Toiletries are the last thing on this guest's mind. Top ticket items for the grabs include; large ceramic bowls, silver platters, throw pillows, wireless speakers, small oil paintings, and even iPads. These types of guests feel a certain level of entitlement, feeling like they overpaid for the room so to make up for it they will pack as much of the room into their bag as possible. A 2019 hotel theft survey, collected from over 1,100 four and five star hotels, resulted in all hotels raising their rates.
"Stealing soaps or pens seems harmless for many hotel guests, however, some are so bold that they carry TVs, pianos, mattresses or even stuffed animals out of the hotel," was the first sentence of the report.
What's more, the big ticket items are more commonly stolen from five-star hotels. Four-star hotels reported most common items stolen were pens, towels, and hangers. While a TV is more likely to be stolen from a five-star. Watch out if you have goose down pillows or duvets, these scammers bring in bedding from home and switch them out before checkout.
Hilariously, mattress theft is up by 35 percent when compared to the same survey in 2017. Hair dryers, phones, coffee machines, and lamps saw at least 20 percent increase as well.
This survey also highlighted Spectacular Outliers. The most bizarre and outrageous five-finger discounts were bath fixtures, shower heads, an entire sink, the spa pool, benches from a sauna, a Tesla power charger, and a four-meter-wide film projection screen.
Be vigilant of your guests, and definitely ask twice about that piano they are putting in their car. Since when did our hotel require BYO mattress? If you only have skeleton staff and minimal security, you are the top target. A popular five-star hotel in Europe said their most stolen item is their wellness bags which include 350 euros worth of holistic products, a luxury bathrobe and blanket. While this is non-complimentary bag is stolen, no thief has ever been prosecuted. "We never report thefts to the police, even if we know exactly who the culprit is," a frustrated employee explained. "As a luxury hotel, we can’t risk the bad publicity."