A stolen West Point class ring, and all I get from my hotel is an excuse?

There’s been a lot of talk about stolen property in hotels — see last week’s story on the safe removed from a Radisson room — and today’s case presents us with a similar problem.

This time, the pilfered items include a watch and an item with sentimental value: a West Point class ring. But unlike last week’s burglary, which was addressed promptly by the hotel, this one has been dragging on for more than a year without a satisfactory response.

Then again, maybe the response is the best the guest can hope for from the Dallas-area Hilton Garden Inn they were staying at.

“Last June, one week before our wedding, my husband and I attended a wedding in the Dallas-Forth Worth area,” explains Thy Ramia. “My husband had just graduated two weeks before from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and as the wedding we were attending was for a classmate, he and a fellow West Point in attendance planned to wear their class rings on the big day to signify their bond to each other.”

On the morning of the wedding they came downstairs for breakfast and then went to the business center to check email. Ramia explains what happened next:

We returned to our room to find that my husband’s class ring and an expensive watch he’d been given by his parents the previous year for his birthday were missing from the TV stand.

He hadn’t intended to leave them there, but he woke up close to the end of the breakfast hour and hurriedly went down.

We were hesitant to accuse someone on the staff of stealing, so we immediately looked through all our belongings and rental car, all of which turned up nothing. After our search, we went to the front desk to report that our items were missing.

The young desk agent told us the property had never had an issue with theft before and went to look through the linens in the hope that the items accidentally got mixed in with the sheets during cleaning. When that turned up nothing, she promised to call the general manager.

Neither Ramia nor her husband are newbie travelers. Ramia works for the State Department, and as an Army officer, her husband is a seasoned traveler. They pretty much knew what to expect.

They knew, for example, that state lodging laws limited the hotel’s liability. They knew they shouldn’t have left their valuables on the table — that was a tourist mistake. But they didn’t know what the hotel would — or wouldn’t — say.

And Ramia says she was surprised by the response. The claims process was extraordinarily difficult and slow. Were it not for a hotel server who stepped in and found the correct form, it would have been delayed even more. Then came the general manager’s answer:

He confirmed that the only other person to enter our room was the maid, and that she had indeed entered our room at the time we were downstairs and the items went missing; however, he insisted the maid simply could not have taken our items.

He went on to say he had known the maid for some time and would ‘stake his career’ on the fact that she did not take our items.

While I appreciate and can understand such loyalty — my mother actually started out as a housekeeper — it did not excuse the fact that no other explanation had been offered as to how our items went missing; why the front desk staff was so ill-informed and ill-equipped to deal with the situation, and why he never got in touch with us despite several assurances from his staff that he would.

There was actually never even an apology from him that the theft occurred, regardless of whom was to blame.

Ramia doesn’t like that answer, and is considering switching her loyalty to another hotel chain as a result.

I can understand why Hilton would respond the way it did. Under Texas lodging law, it probably owes her nothing — not even an explanation — for what happened. Here are the applicable state statutes.

Under these circumstances, I’ve seen a hotel offer to waive part of the room rate or offer a certificate for a future stay. Hilton could have done that, but it didn’t have to.

If nothing else, this serves as a cautionary tale for anyone who is traveling with valuables, sentimental or otherwise. Keep them on you at all times, or leave them at home.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at chris@elliott.org. Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • http://flyicarusfly.com/ Fly, Icarus, Fly

    When you leave your valuables in a locked room, there’s a frustratingly finite number of people who could’ve stolen it. That said, if the hotel offered compensation for everyone who alleged items went missing, that wouldn’t be good either. Could even an apology be an admission of fault? Perhaps something coached in language such as “We regret that you lost sentimental items during your stay”…

    I would think a class ring would be easy enough to replace, especially a brand new one. But a gift certificate or free upgrade would be a decent gesture of commiseration if not culpability.

  • Michelle C

    Last week I sided with the hotel.  This week I’m siding with the traveler.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OEPJGQPIEB75YYDE5CJY6R3VFE Carver Clark Farrow II

    I am with the OP.  Even if the hotel is not liable, you expect a certain level of professionalism, especially with a nationally well known, well respected chain such as the Hilton.

    If the OP feels that the patronage is not appreciated then she should seriously consider another chain.  Personally, I am not a fan of the Hilton chain.  My experiences, even when a Diamond member, were less than stellar.  In my experience, Hilton was downright stingy with its loyalty program benefits, always engaging in a race to the bottom

    I have always stated that loyalty programs are about getting a good return on your investment of travel dollars.  I did not experience a meaningful ROI when I actively participated in the Hilton Honors Program,nor did I feel that the program assisted me when issues arose.  So, I stopped patronizing the chain.

    I suspect the OP might do the same.

  • sirwired

    I’d just like to point out that it should probably be the local property that provides any compensation, not Hilton.  Most Garden Inns are franchise operations and Hilton corporate has little to do with them other than providing building plans, marketing support, booking, and a set of corporate standards.

    While certainly Hilton corporate should be made aware of what’s going on at the property, their powers to “force” the hotel to do anything are quite limited, and the ultimate responsibility to provide compensation lies with the actual owner of the hotel, which probably isn’t Hilton.

  • BillCCC

    It appears that no compensation was offered so I could not answer the question. If the items were stolen I feel sympathy for the client but I am wondering (aside from a refund of some sort) what else the hotel could done? They searched for the ring. They filled in a claim form. Not every member of the staff is familiar with the claims process so I would not hold it against a staff member if they didn’t know the procedure.

    Unless the client insisted that the police be called in I do not think it would be prudent of the hotel to acknowledge that the items went missing from the room from a legal standpoint.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    Good point. You’re right, she was probably dealing with a franchise property.

  • emanon256

    These stolen item columns are really starting to scare me.  I am in hotels close to 200 nights per year, and I have also expected a reasonable amount of safety and privacy for anything I leave in a locked room or safe.  In both last week’s case and this I think the traveler should have received something more (Though I think last weeks person was unreasonable carrying around $45,000 in watches).  I do think leaving a watch and ring on a night stand while going to breakfast is not at all unreasonable.  I understand hotels have limited liability so that people can’t claim expensive items were stolen when the items never existed, but then what happens when an item really is stolen?

  • lost_in_travel

    The delay in response is the insult heaped on injury.  Maybe there is nothing the hotel is required to do about the loss, but there is at least the expectation that there would be a prompt, apologetic, response from the manager.  

    The items can be replaced, at a large cost, but what on earth can anyone do with a West Point ring if one is not a graduate?  Melting it down for the gold won’t get that much money (unless one makes a habit of this and has many rings to melt!)  What a foolish thing to steal! 

    The only person who seems to have tried to help was the desk agent who tried to look through the dirty linens.   

    Since anything could be considered “valuable” how can one leave any items at all in a hotel room?  Suits or dresses are expensive, especially to replace on short notice, can we leave them in a locked room?  I realize jewelry is an easy target but so is everything one travels with.  Ever notice the price on pre-worn, ripped jeans?  How is a traveler to depend on anything ever being safe?

  • john4868

    @JamesinPhnomPenh:disqus I’m a USMA grad. Each ring is unique to that graduating class and I’m not aware of any method to replace a stolen ring.

  • Adam_The_Man

    More Scams! Hotels know their liability is limited, so they can steel whatever they want from you and you can do nothing about it.

  • john4868

    My heart goes out to the OP but as a fellow USMA grad, my ring doesn’t leave my finger once I leave the house (same thing my firstie aka senior year). It symbolizes too much work for someone to take it.

    Did they file a police report? There seems to be more than enough circumstanial evidence against the maid to at least warrant an investigation.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SDVBQAECV6LA3BOSRCSQBHN3Z4 Sherry Blanton
  • john4868

    Thanks @yahoo-SDVBQAECV6LA3BOSRCSQBHN3Z4:disqus I learned something new today. I did know that there is a fairly active network of grads looking for and recovery stolen class rings. Almost all of them have the graduates name in it so the resale value is almost 0 except for the gold and stones

  • Raven_Altosk

    Same here. Either the maid took it or allowed someone else access to the room to swipe it.

  • http://flyicarusfly.com/ Fly, Icarus, Fly

    The menu isn’t the same as described on ehow. Here’s the list of ring producers by year for WP:


    But I read somewhere else that replacing a ring cost someone almost $800…

  • john4868

    @JamesinPhnomPenh:disqus I’d say much more than that. My ring was thousands of dollars when I purchased it in ’94. I’d say that just based on the increase in gold and stones the price would have doubled. Add the cost of a one off run instead of a production run and the price probably soars.

  • http://flyicarusfly.com/ Fly, Icarus, Fly

    Wow. All the more reason never to leave it out, I guess!

  • MikeInCtown

    By the time the police would have gotten involved and gotten her to agree to a search, the maid would have left for the day. Hotels need to have the same policies that many businesses that deal with items of monetary value do. You must park in certain areas, leave purses in your vehicle, you are subjected to a search, etc. My company basically says any vehicle on company property can be searched as part of your employment.

    Instead of the manager and staff covering for the cleaning lady, they should have immediately found her cart, her purse, and her pockets and searched them. The manager wants to stake his career on her? Wow, I bet lots of people staked a lot on Bernie’s Ponzi scheme, and look what it got them. 

  • john4868

    @MikeInCtown:disqus I’m not disagreeing with you but someone steals thousands of dollars from my hotel room, committing grand theft (this qualifies under TX law), I’m calling the cops and making a big stink in the lobby. I’m sure that would have inspired the manager to be more cooperative.

    Unfortunately, I’m willing to bet this new officer fresh out of USMA just expected people to do the right thing. I’m sure USMA has changed since I graduated but I thought along the same line for awhile.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DIBSB5NLCACYMGNNPYR3LDZND4 Preston

    Wow this is a no win situation. The hotel could have given them the room as a gesture of good will.
    That being said DO NOT leave valuables in a hotel room!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We don’t touch the burner on the stove because we know it is hot!

  • Asiansm Dan

    Sad story but it’s hard to prove that items are stolen by the maid. I travel extensively but never lost anything in Hotels. But I feel sorry that incident could have an impact on the personnel history of that maid in case he/she is innocent. At priory, I believe the maid is innocent until it proves the contrary with hard evidence. The maid don’t risk a steady job in this slugging economy for a watch and a ring,  

  • ndally

    I once had over $10,000 in items stolen from my room at a Hilton in Cancun so  I understand Thy’s frustration.  One thing that they should have done is to call the Police.  Nothing gets the attention of management as big men in blue with guns on their hips.  They immediately take control away from management and impose a high degree on intimidation on those responsible

  • RetiredNavyphotog

    I agree.  Because I travel solo, I am much more aware of my surroundings.  I always take my valuables to breakfast.  Sure it is a pain, but I don’t want to take a chance on anything missing.

  • JenniferFinger

    The maid might be innocent, but the manager’s unwillingness to consider that she might not be and just wants to drop everything without even an apology, let alone further investigation, has my back up.

  • RITom

    If you do have a theft report it to the front desk AND CALL THE  POLICE.  Do not wait for the hotel to do something but give you the cash right there and then for it.  If you want an apology from the hotel then tell them you were stupid for leaving valuables in your room for anyone to steal.
    You are in a room that has had 364 other users to it each year and you expect privacy? OK!  
    1. Never take valuables with you on holiday  “Out of Towners” 1970  if you have not seen it then you should.
    2. If you take valuables keep them with you
    3. When you can wear the fakes rather then the real stuff.
    4. Keep your passport with you when in a foreign country (if the hotel burns so does your passport)  — you take your drivers license with you at home so do the same there.
    5. If there is a peep hole on the door use it to look out and then cover it over.
    6. The windows in your room work both ways, so cover up!!
    7. We have locks on luggage for a reason.  Use them even in the hotel room  Does anyone remember the photos of the toothbrush and camera stories of the honeymooners?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_P2YNBONSBUI2DAJT7OBCR4YOTI Barbara

    I had a camera stolen from Harrah’s in Atlantic City about a year ago.  Our door didn’t lock properly unless you slammed it shut, which we did.  But we think the maid didn’t slam it closed and someone pushed on it and it opened.  Maybe the maid knew it didn’t close properly and told a friend, or maybe there was someone else who knew?  Anyway, Harrah’s denied any responsibility.  FORTUNATELY, I had downloaded a huge number of photos from an Australia trip before we left home, so the only real loss was the camera which cost about $400.
    Many years ago I had a nightgown stolen and the only way the hotel would show any interest was if I filed a police report!  I’m going to do that for a nightgown???
    Now I put valuables in the hotel safe, or at least don’t leave them lying around in plain sight.

  • RITom

    Then what is reasonable and what is not reasonable?  What is that line where the hotel is liable and not liable?

    Limited liablity 200 rooms 365 days 73,000 claims a year is that reaonsble?  Even if they are $100 each? that is $7,300,000

  • RITom

    Then the traveler should NOT leave valuables in the room.  They dont leave valuables at a table when they go to the washroom do they?

  • Raven_Altosk

    Don’t forget: Never let a hotel try and convince you to “leave” your passport with them at the desk for “safe keeping.”

    This was tried on me by a hotel I booked in Rome. It was called Hotel Due Torre. Avoid it like the plague. A bad pick on the part of my travel agent…at least she was able to get us better accommodations after one day of staying in Rome’s Bates Motel. Eesh.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OEPJGQPIEB75YYDE5CJY6R3VFE Carver Clark Farrow II

     That’s part of the problem with Hilton.  Other chains have substantially more power over the franchises.  I’ve been on the phone with Marriott and Starwood where the rep has given an order to the front desk clerk.  Not with Hilton.

  • emanon256

    That’s what I am asking too. I don’t know what would be reasonable, or where the line would be.

    In last week’s case, where the OP had $45,000 in uninsured watches, I don’t think that’s reasonable to expect hotel to protect that unless the OP made arrangements to have his valuables protected, though I would think the safe would be more reasonable, but apparently not. In today’s case the OP left his watch and ring on a night stand while going to breakfast, neither item has much value to anyone other than the OP. The hotel has evidence someone entered while the OP was at breakfast, and the items are now gone. It seems reasonable to me that the items should have been safe in the room as it is a locked door where it is assumed people keep their belongings. There is a huge gap between the two cases. However saying that a hotel is not liable for anything is completely unreasonable. As someone else mentioned, suits and jeans expensive are. Also many travelers have laptops, more clothes, shoes, suitcases, even expensive prescriptions. Should every traveler pack up all of their belonging every time they leave the room? Even if it’s just for breakfast? I think that is unreasonable, and it should be expected that those items are safe.

    Yes, in your example if every single person claims that $100 was stolen every single night, it is going to cost hotels a lot of money. But I also don’t think every single person is going to lie just to get money from a hotel. So what can be done to protect a hotel customers belongings, keep the hotel liable if theft occurred by a hotel employee or a hotels negligence, and weed out people who are making things up? I don’t have an answer.

  • jet2x2

    A friend had a necklace stolen while she was in the room.  It disappeared when the room service waiter was delivering food.  The hotel denied all liability.  When she said she was going to call the police they tried to talk her out of it, and then threatened to kick her out if she did.  She called the police anyway and magically, the necklace showed up the next day in her room.  I would always call the police to report this type of theft, I don’t care what local law says.

  • ClareClare

    Okay, I confess my naivete here, Raven.  What was the front desk planning to do, steal your identity, sell the passport, or both A and B?

    I ask because here in Rome where I live, I know for a fact that many hotels routinely offer to do the same thing, and I’ve never heard of a problem.  I’m not questioning your story, not at all–just wondering what the M.O. is, because this is a new one to me!

    The US Consulate in Rome (and probably everywhere else too) always tells American visitors NOT to walk around carrying their passports–instead, they’re told to leave them in the hotel and carry either a photocopy or some other ID.
    And thanks for the warning about Due Torre… 

  • TonyA_says

    Of course, the presumption is that the local police is clean and not “in” with the thieves. I don’t assume that in many places. In some countries, calling the police can get you in more trouble and cost you more money.

  • SooZeeeQ

    Housekeeping routinely leaves the door to the room open while cleaning.

    My first guess was someone else saw the opportunity to grab whatever they could get while she was busy elsewhere.

    Slim, but possible, and why jeopardize her job?

    I was luckier at the lovely Grand Colonial Hotel in La Jolla. when I left my sterling earrings in the room and a day later, I was able to go back and get them from their safe.

    A much repeated suggestion ~ leave the foo-foo stuff at home or have a nice bag to carry your camera and whatever with you when leaving the room.

    As to the items worth $10,000 ~ if you bought them at a reputable store ~ ship it home. If it was something pricey you brought from home ~ that is just crazy.

    We were told when travelling to South America to wear no real or fake silver/gold jewelry because it would be grabbed right off of you. So I wore colored junk and it amused the monkeys at the hotel in the Amazon.

  • Joe Farrell

    For every person who ‘switches their loyalty to another chain.’ there is someone who switched their loyalty to the chain the person is switching from – there is zero point in threatening anything – just take your business elsewhere-

    I do not understand WHY the OP is upset – the ring is gone – just go buy another one.  Its not the secret of life is engraved in the ring.   As a seasoned traveler he knows the hotel as no liability for anything not in ITS’ safe.  End of story.

    Anything you want still there when you leave needs to be in the hotel safe and declared .  . .

    Yes – its unfortunate but it does not matter because its a ring knocker’s ring – rules are the rules most times.  In this case – you can always get a replacement –

  • TonyA_says

    Makes one wonder how many kleptos are hanging around in hotels. Someone has to be pretty sick to steal a nightgown.

  • bodega3

    Leaving your passport with the front desks at European hotels is very common. 

  • AAmerican1

    While I do not believe the maid is directly at fault I do believe they are indirectly to blame and the hotel is directly at fault for inadequate training of maids and other staff. As a former “road warrior” I can recall numerous times when I revisted my room during cleaning to retrieve something and was never challenged by the maid or any other hotel staff member. In the majority of cases English is a second language for many housekeeping staff and most do not understand what you are saying when you re-enter a room. Hotel staff should be trained at all levels to challenge the guest for identification when entering an unlocked room or requesting an additional room key. Rooms during cleaning should never be left open when un-attended. A hotel thief today has it pretty easy because they have improperly trained hotel staff as an accomplice.

  • pauletteb

    Seems that either the maid’s a thief or she left the door to the room open and someone entered the room while she was cleaning the bathroom. I see this all the time in hotels, and it would be easy for someone in the hall to see and grab anything valuable. The hotel’s response and total lack of knowledge regarding how to even handle the situation sucked, and the general manager’s over-the-top defense of the maid made me wonder about his complicity. That being said, I don’t care how late I was running, I wouldn’t have left anything valuable in my room. Both items can be replaced, but the sentimental value of the orginals cannot.

  • pauletteb

    Most hotels are desperate for people willing to do this thankless job, and very few ask questions when hiring.

  • Raven_Altosk

    I don’t know, but I really felt pressured into leaving it with them and that bothered me. Plus, the hotel was a dump, so…it was doubly sketchy.

    I really don’t like separating myself from my passport (had it stolen–er, “misplaced”– by a hotel in Russia) so…maybe I’m a little gunshy about the whole ordeal…

    Yeah, I know it’s common, but I still don’t like it. Especially when the hotel is creepy and the clerk overly demanding.

    /my whining

    ETA: I spelled the hotel name wrong. It is Due Torri. Don’t believe the pictures on the website.

    ETA2: My stay there was 2002, so in 10 years, perhaps they have improved things. But the pictures look exactly as they were back then. So…?

  • Carchar

    I travel alone, mostly, and always take my valuables (passport, inexpensive, but souvenir jewelry that I can’t replace, money, credit cards) with me when I leave the hotel room. When I go for breakfast, the “Do Not Disturb” sign is always on the door and I leave the delivered newspaper in front of the door. So far, I have had no problems, but probably because there have been no thieves around.

  • Raven_Altosk

    Yeah, but after a hotel in Russia “misplaced” my passport, I’m really not keen on trusting it with strangers.

  • Sadie_Cee

    It’s a long story but I can really identify with the OP’s plight.  Sure he made a mistake by leaving his valuables unattended in his room, but someone took advantage of this lapse and stole from him.  He deserves more from the Hilton than what he has received so far.
    The only other mistake that he made was not notifying the police immediately.   He probably would not have recovered his stolen valuables, but by doing so there would be an existing record of a theft at this franchise.  This record could contradict any assertion the manager made in the future that no thefts had ever occurred at his hotel.  The OP could even have learned that thefts had been reported in the past.  He  would also have obtained a police report to support any insurance claim he made.  As for the manager vouching for the maid, that is laughable.  The only way this would be credible is if he had stolen the valuables himself or had witnessed someone else stealing them. 
    Thieves look for opportunities and the only way we can protect ourselves is to deny them any such opportunities.  If the item is something that we cannot afford to lose either because of its real or sentimental value, it should be left at home in a safety deposit box.  Wear costume jewelry while travelling – people are so wrapped up in their own concerns that no one really cares about what you are wearing or how much you paid for the item.  Have a holiday free from the care of having to watch and account for your valuables 24/7.  I have read that in days gone by the rich wore paste copies of their expensive jewels and kept the originals in safes.
    We have made our lives so complicated of late that we operate on auto-pilot most of the time.  We have to start practising ‘living in the moment.’  For instance, if we get up to leave a waiting room, a public conveyance or anything similar, we should get into the habit of looking down to see if we are for leaving anything behind.  If we tender $10 in payment for a $4.32 item, we should wait for and count the change.  Sounds simplistic, but how many times have we failed to do such undemanding things to our detriment?  With hotel rooms, always remember to do the ‘once-over’ and ‘final’ sweeps before leaving the room.

  • judyserienagy

    A hotel cannot offer compensation for items reported stolen by guests.   They SHOULD, however, offer a sincere apology. 

    Over the years, I have observed hundreds of rooms with the door propped open, the cart outside, the maid scrubbing the bathrub with the door mostly closed … anyone can walk in and pick up anything they want. 

    The Do Not Disturb sign is always on my door, I hang up my towels and can make my own bed.  I used to be a bit sheepish about this, but a recent chat with a travelling hotel GM showed me I’m right – she never lets anyone into her room either!

  • Nancy Marine Dickinson

    I’m glad we’re permitted to know the name of the hotel and its location so we know to stay away from there.  I think this will be the column to go in the next issue.  I want to make sure as many travelers as possible know about this hotel and its theft problem.

    I know its been a year but were the police ever involved? I’m sure they would have taken a different stance than the hotel and the maid would have been confronted.  I had some money stolen once from my hotel room when I stepped out to go get ice.  Everyone feigned innocence until the police showed up and it was only then the money “reappeared” exactly where it had been stolen from.

    I chose to edit this after posting because of reading several posts here where people expressed disbelief the maid would jeopardize her job over an expensive watch and class ring from a military academy.

    Last year in my county (Cochise, AZ) there were two thefts that made headlines here where people were more than a little shocked – one was a deputy sheriff and his wife embezzling nearly a million dollars from her employer, a plastic surgeon. The other happened at my husband’s employer, Northrop Grumman, where an employee used her company credit card to run up about $100,000 in charges.

    You never know what will tempt people in all sorts of positions and stations in life. A maid in a hotel can always find another job as a maid in a hotel. The turnover on those jobs is unbelievably high and the hotels really don’t care who they hire for these slots, in most cases requiring just a pulse.

  • AAmerican1

    There are several Hilton Garden Inns in the DFW area and it was not identified if this property was actually in the Dallas city limits or one of its suburbs. Residing in the Dallas area I can attest to the fact if this was reported to the Dallas Police it was a low priority and is still sitting in an investigators in-box untouched. Dallas cannot handle the major crimes efficiently much less the petty ones.

  • Nancy Marine Dickinson

    Dallas is a big city with lots of hotel chains.  So long as I stay away from the Hilton Garden Inns while there, I feel as though I can breathe a little easier…  (Probably not but perception is everything…)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OEPJGQPIEB75YYDE5CJY6R3VFE Carver Clark Farrow II

     I’m not really concerned that every guest is trying to scam the hotel

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OEPJGQPIEB75YYDE5CJY6R3VFE Carver Clark Farrow II

     Hardly comparable as a table is not locked or secure.  As has been pointed out, it might not be jewelry but clothing, computer gear,etc.  Should the guest pack up everything every time they leave the room?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OEPJGQPIEB75YYDE5CJY6R3VFE Carver Clark Farrow II

     If a hotel did threatened to kick me out because I called the police, I’d be doubly inclined to call them.  Good for your friend

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OEPJGQPIEB75YYDE5CJY6R3VFE Carver Clark Farrow II

    I disagree.  A polite implicit threat can work wonders, especially if you are someone the hotel wants to retain.

    I rented a three bedroom suite in Vegas at a very nice hotel.  The suite that I got was not what I rented, and the front desk lied to me claiming that what I stated I rented didn’t exist. I proved it false and wrote how disappointed I was with the chain, and how after X number of years and nights at Marriott…blah blah blah. I got a quick response form a higher up, profuse apologies and they comped me the most expensive night without me even asking

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OEPJGQPIEB75YYDE5CJY6R3VFE Carver Clark Farrow II

     I don’t’ know.  I’m not comfortable with placing suspicion on the maid merely because she was were she was supposed to be.  In that case the maid is always having to prove her innocence.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OEPJGQPIEB75YYDE5CJY6R3VFE Carver Clark Farrow II

    One reason is that if there are any disputes the hotel can hold your passport hostage.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OEPJGQPIEB75YYDE5CJY6R3VFE Carver Clark Farrow II

     I too have entered my room to retrieve items while it was being cleaned.  I was challenged exactly once for my name and never for ID

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OEPJGQPIEB75YYDE5CJY6R3VFE Carver Clark Farrow II

     How do you get your room cleaned.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OEPJGQPIEB75YYDE5CJY6R3VFE Carver Clark Farrow II

     Can the maid find another job that easily.  I would assume that they would check references and as there are probably more maids than positions, one with a sticky past might be in trouble.

  • bodega3

    In Cabo, calling the police means nothing.  They are part of the problem.  I had clients have their room ransacked.  It is a hotel right in town, on the harbour, very popular with the younger crowd.  It was their second stay, first one they didn’t have any problems but another room had their safe entered into and robbed of items placed inside.  This last trip the clients didn’t wish to use the safe based on what they heard about on the last trip and hid their stuff in their locked room.  IPods, dark glasses, money, phones, chargers all taken. 

  • maudr

    If they cared so much for the “sentimental” ring they would not have just left it in a room.  If you care about something you don’t leave it vulnerable.  What’s happened to common sense and is this the quality of a West Point grad today?

  • emanon256

    I agree with @yahoo-OEPJGQPIEB75YYDE5CJY6R3VFE:disqus  The room is locked and secure.  And you can’t expect people to pack up their entire suitcase, clothing, extra shoes, etc. every single day.

  • y_p_w

    Perhaps I’m getting a little cynical in my old age, but I’m starting to feel that surveillance cameras would be a good idea.  They don’t have to cost a lot and there’s lots of technology out there that could make things practical.

    There are cameras out there that have the capability of transmitting video over a WiFi network or even a mobile network to remote storage. Many of these newer devices have very high quality video with compression technology to keep the bandwidth low.  I could imagine something like a 4 way camera setup that could be variously pointed at a doorway and anything that might make a tempting theft target.  The storage could be subscription based where one could offload the data as a record. Even if the camera is moved or even stolen, there should be a video recording of who entered at least until the point where the camera setup was disturbed.

  • strizis

    “to signify their bond with each other”, “my mom was a housekeeper”, How sweet! And how pertinent! What ever happened to personal responsibility, and from a “west point grad” no less. I don’t want to accuse, I have no proof, but I want/deserve compensation. From whom? The hotel, they did nothin g wrong, you did. The maid, do we know for sure she took them, no we don’t. I left some practically brand new sandals at a hotel once. I was 99% sure, I called the next morning, and. I they didn’t have any knowledge of them. I blamed myself, a d ate the loss.

  • john4868

    The only time my class ring comes out is for events like this. Last time it came out was to bury my mentor. Also its his wife not the officer that wrote the letter.

    These weren’t sandals he left behind. It was a ring he left on the tv stand while he ran downstairs. No reason to expect that anyone would enter the room. Oh and did you miss where they searched their own luggage first? How about the part where an employee entered their room during the time they were gone.

    Oh and did you notice that they only thing they really looked for was an apology? That’s it

  • Nica

    Unfortunately, if the chain has not done anything at this point, they may have to just chalk it up as a loss.  I feel terrible, but there really is no way to prove that the maid took it. Sometimes housekeeping does leave the door open during cleaning and people come in and out unchallenged. 

    Some form of apology is definitely in order, but it seems like they will never get it.

  • Christina Conte

    If the couple was so sure it was on the tv stand, why did they look in the car? As unfortunate as it is, I don’t see how the hotel can give them anything more than an apology (they dropped the ball here) or else every Tom, Dick and Harry will be saying they left some valuable in the room to get compensation.

  • Raven_Altosk

    Exactly! I’m not giving them any leverage.

  • TonyA_says

    In Italy (and other countries), they photocopy your passport. You can get your passport back as soon as they are finished. I often check in and them come back down to get my passport. I haven’t had the need to leave it with them longer than that (and definitely never overnight).

    In some countries, fake immigration officers will steal your US passport. Happened to my nephew. Someone with an official looking ID approached him and asked him if those golf clubs were his and needed to see and stamp his passport. My nephew gave the guy his passport, the guy walked to another room and that’s the last time my nephew saw his passport.

  • AUSSIEtraveller

    is this the new Dumber & Dumber 2 movie ?
    Any idiot knows you don’t leave jewelry just lying around a hotel room.

    It’s like women & handbags. If you carry one, it’s going to get stolen at some stage.

    An Australian travel agent in Phuket a few weeks ago, lost her life over a silly handbag.

  • TonyA_says

     I read that. Local thugs stabbed her. She was on a familiarization trip. Sad.

  • Raven_Altosk

    Hotel Due Torri wanted the passport “for safe keeping.” They had no intention of copying it. 

    It felt skeevy to me.

  • TardyBoyy

    You leave an expensive watch and perhaps invaluable ring in a hotel in Texas, where most of the help are illegals?

    Sounds like a waste of tuition.  I would expect more sense out of a college grad.  But I guess stupid is as stupid does.  The penalty for falling off the turnip truck is a watch and a ring.


  • lost_in_travel

    Really not a fair comment – after spending four years with a group of people who have been chosen for their own leadership qualitities, they might be a little naive to believe that others can be trusted.  And its not like they left it in the lobby, it was a locked hotel room.

  • Lindabator

    But the hotels would be!

  • bolide

    This was, I think, needlessly insulting.  The OP acknowledged it was an error and was not trying to claim otherwise. 

    While I would like to think I generally have common sense, this doesn’t prevent me from occasionally erring, as I am human and not perfect.  I think if you spend a few minutes, you could probably find a few occasions where you have erred, too, even if you are normally full of common sense. 

    As to the topic at hand, I do think that the OP should have called the police.  A theft should be reported, even if nothing comes of it.  Yes, it might be considered a petty crime, and yes, the police might not jump on this one case.  But if there are multiple similar cases that establish a pattern at the same property, it’s more likely to get attention and at least there’s a chance that the thief or thieves will eventually be caught.

  • BMG4ME

    Leaving a valuable item like that in a hotel room on a TV stand is the issue.   If they had left it in the safe then the hotel would have been completely responsible.

  • Bill___A

    Call the police immediately and file a report when something like that happens.  An  investigation will show whether there was forced entry or not.  If there is not forced entry, they will need to investigate who got in that room with a cardkey.

    They will need to talk to each and every person who had a cardkey and enter that room.  The police cars will be at the hotel along with police in uniform.  The hotel management will want those police cars gone and will cooperate.

    Managers are not policemen.  The police’s job is to find out who committed the crime and prosecute them.
    The hotel manager’s job is to try get  you to be quiet and go away.

    If I had a theft in my room, I don’t even think I would call the manager before I called the police.

    Then again, I don’t carry expensive jewellery with me.  And there is tracking software on my laptop (which is on the bios) and will work even if someone changes the hard drive.

  • http://www.bestwesterncharlottetown.ca/ Daniel Visickery

    I read a similar story last week about a guy that had his hotel safe, with 40k worth of valuables, stolen right out of his room. The hotel offered him a 1 night comp…that’s crazy…I’d be contacting lawyers.

  • http://www.bestwesterncharlottetown.ca/ Daniel Visickery

    ha..didn’t see the link right at the top of the article!

  • JenniferFinger

    If the maid was the only person to have been in the room at the time the thefts happened, then yes, she should have to prove her innocence, because nobody else could be the thief. It’s a process of elimination, and the fact that the manager refused to consider that, suggests that he doesn’t care about helping the customer even if the maid is not innocent.

  • Nich T

    According to that Texas Code,specifically Subsection (b), number (2),

    A hotel keeper is not liable for a loss or injury…if: (2) the loss or injury does not occur through the negligence or wrongdoing of the keeper or an employee of the hotel.

    Seems that because the employee was responsible, the hotel is liable.

  • col.rock g

    From col.rock, with past experience in hotel stayings, I now keep a well documented property log with me in the event of an internal or external theft in hotels. Thefts exist much from the inside and amongst them they cover thefts so the hotel don’t get a black eye or bad reputation. A lesson to learn but quite frankly it is a place we call temporary domain unfortunately they are those who I call parasytes of opportunity. As always police your room daily and before departure and if i may suggest get an unexpensive clock mini surveillance camera and record

    the action this will capture all and will benefit when puting in a claim or calling the police. I do this all the time during my stays at hotels to ensure I don’t become a victim of lodging injustice. Good luck! Col.rock security specialist

  • col.rock g

    Several years ago a special ring was stolen me. It took about 20 years to be tecognized as one of the highest professional skilled delta force operator in america. As a former soldier of fortune I miss my ring which means a lot to me but I know in my heart that I have earned the previlege to be awarded this priceless gift, but I have moved on. My advise move on and get a replacement keep in mind that you have earned that priviledge not the one who stole it from you. Good luck and don’t look back soldier.

  • Jeremy

    Hilton is known to have thieves working at their properties!