According to a survey, almost half of all housekeepers have stolen something from guests at least once in their career. As you might have guessed, cash and electronics are the most frequently looted items in the hotel. The most common thing that is stolen is money.
But things like booze, jewelry, and toiletries, housekeepers will be more likely to rationalize stealing them, if they feel like it is a victimless crime.
On the other hand, strange jewelry is the least likely item to be stolen. So, if you are a guest and you experience losing items while you are still booked, and suspect that hotel housekeepers steal them, here is the thing you need to do:
In general, when you suspect that housekeeping staff had stolen something, call the hotel security to request an investigation. They will review cameras and see who was in and out of the room. They will know exactly who cleaned the room, and confront that person to check their belongings.
That’s why you need to be responsible for your things when someone you don’t know comes into your room.
For example, you bring your valuable belongings at all times and do not leave them in the room unless you lock them properly. Meanwhile, here are the things you may do to believe that something is stolen from you and confirm that theft happens.
Things You May Do To Confirm Stealing Happens
Going back to your hotel room to find your property stolen is a devastating experience. It affects your well-being, sense of safety, as well as costing you thousands of dollars for the lost property.
But before you go to the hotel security and cry your eyes out, be calm and check first your items thoroughly. There are times that you think it was stolen but you just actually misplaced it.
Check the room
Start by looking for your missing item under the bed, in the drawer, or the bathroom. You need to search all the possible places in your room, where you could place that item.
For example, rings are often removed during bath time, and place in the sink. There’s a tendency to forget to wear it when you get out of the bath.
Others, place their money or wallet under the bed before they go to sleep, and when they wake up in the morning they forget where they put it. In simple words, check all the possible areas in your room.
Look in your bags
Go to your bags, maybe you put your favorite necklace in your bag’s secret pocket. Check all the tiny details of your bag where you can think of inserting your tiny items like a bracelet and necklace.
Your newest iPhone (that you think is missing) could also be in our bag and just covered with your stuff. Check your items thoroughly by pouring your items out of your bag. Make sure to look into tiny pockets as well.
Go to your recently visited places/amenities in the hotel
If you think that the missing item is not in your room or your bag, go to the places where you stayed or spend a bit of time. For instance, you go to the pool and forget your wallet on the table.
You go to the bar and have a hilarious conversation with your friends, and since you are hyped that’s where you lose your bracelet.
Have a list of the places you visited, and check them one by one to look for your missing item. You can also ask people there if they have seen the item you are looking for, maybe they can help you with that or they already brought it to the security.
There are times that we are forgetful.
You forget that you placed your phone in your pocket and you fly into a rage that someone stole your phone. Other people sometimes forget that they placed a $100 bill in their shoes when they forget to bring a wallet.
As I have said, look for all the possible places you can think of, and that includes you.
Things to do to prevent theft in the hotel
There’s never a guarantee that you will be safe against theft. As hotel management are doing their best to filter their staff during recruitment, here are some things you can do on your part to prevent theft.
Before check-in keep a record of all valuables
For example, you bring your MacBook, take note of the model number of your MacBook as well as serial numbers.
You may also take photos of all your valuables, including close-ups and identifying marks and features. Keep in mind how much money is in your wallet so that you know if someone steals some money from you.
Lock your room whenever you leave
If you plan to go for a swim or check other hotel amenities, make sure to lock the room properly whenever you leave. Electronics or gadgets that you don’t need to bring outside must be kept in safe storage. Do not place it in areas where people can find them instantly.
For example, putting your laptop under your pillow, because if you place it plainly in your backpack, people with bad intentions can easily go through your stuff.
Be vigilant of people with suspicious movements
If you think that the housekeeper does something suspicious, observe him/her. Do not report to the security unless they did something bad or you have proof that he/she stole something from you. Get the name of the people who go in and out of your home for house cleaning so that you know the identity of the person.
Keep an eye on your belongings
This is a common thing, wherever you go.
Do not leave your valuables unattended. Some hotels are not liable for missing items, especially if there’s negligence on the part of the customer.
Keep in mind where you place your wallet, mobile phone, and cards. If you have a secret pocket in your bag, you can place them there instead of placing them all together inside your bag.
Keep expensive items out of sight
Avoid showing your wallet or showing off expensive jewelry, as it can catch the attention of potential robbers to steal your valuables.
Is A Hotel Liable For Theft?
Hotels can be held liable when hotel guests who are booked are injured or have their personal property stolen. There is a common law “innkeepers’ duty”, stating that hotel owners are responsible for any injuries to and theft from their guests.
When the hotel guest brings a claim against a hotel, it is usually for negligence, meaning the hotel failed to do something they were responsible for in ensuring the safety of the guest and their belongings.
It is unlikely that a guest will bring a claim against a hotel for an intentional action because hotels and their staff are unlikely to inflict harm and inconvenience to their guests. Therefore, the claim is usually for negligence, which needs to be proven in a court of law.
How To Prove That The Hotel Was Negligent?
When a hotel guest experiences an injury or his/her personal property is stolen while on hotel property, they may bring a claim of negligence against the hotel. To prove that negligence occurred, the following must be proven in court.
- The guest was a paying customer of the hotel during that time and was considered an invitee.
- Being an invitee, the hotel owed to the guest a duty of reasonable care, according to the standards of reasonable hotels caring for their guests.
- The duty was breached because of the hotel’s negligence and failure to complete some action that resulted in the guest’s claim.
- In breaching the duty of care, the hotel directly caused the injury to or theft of the guest.