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Theft in hotels – Which items are stolen the most?

MUNICH, December 4, 2019

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.

Wellness Heaven, a hotel review portal, has asked 1,157 hoteliers which items are most commonly stolen. In particular, a striking difference is observed in the theft behaviour between guests in four-star and five-star hotels.

The main result of the study: the overwhelming majority of guests steal towels and bathrobes – perhaps as a goodie for the next spa break? These two objects of desire are closely followed by hangers, pens and cutlery. In addition to these "ordinary" items, there is a number of spectacular outliers that suggest a brisk imagination of the delinquents:

The most bizarre stolen goods

Room Numbers
In a hotel in England, a guest had unceremoniously removed the numbers from his hotel room door. "We didn't notice until the next guest could not find his room", the hotel director declares.

Bathroom Fittings
Highly skilled craftsmanship was required of those guests who managed to steal bathroom fixtures, the head of a rain shower, a hydromassage shower, a toilet seat, a drainpipe or even an entire sink, as reported by a Berlin hotel.

A Grand Piano
A hotelier from Italy: "Once I walked through the lobby, I noticed that something was missing, and soon after I learned that three unknown men in overalls had taken away the grand piano, and it never reappeared, of course."

Sauna Benches
In a hotel near Salzburg, the wooden benches from a sauna were stolen. The "private sauna" was located on the terrace of a spa suite. The benches were made of fragrant pine wood, which probably stirred up the guest's desire. Only when a subsequent guest criticised the absence of the benches ("Where should I sit in the sauna? I can't relax while standing."), the hotelier noticed the theft.

HiFi System
A hotel owner from Germany reports on how the entire stereo system of the spa area disappeared: Thieves had apparently dismantled the entire sound equipment overnight and loaded it in their car before they left.

Thieving preferences by nationality
When classifying the delinquents by nationality, a different picture emerges. It turns out, for example, that German and British hotel guests follow a rather boring theft behaviour: In addition to towels and bathrobes, primarily cosmetics and toiletries are in the focus.

In contrast, Austrians snitch in a more pleasure-oriented way: dishes and coffee machines appear high up in their theft ranking. It seems they cannot get enough to satisfy their thirst for coffee. For US Americans, pillows and batteries appear as the prime objects of desire.

Italians seem to prefer wine glasses as a hotel souvenir, while the hair dryer ranks high up in the Swiss ranking. The French, on the other hand, steal in a more spectacular manner: they represent the nation that is attracted mainly to TV sets and remote controls.

Dutch hotel guests see in their souvenirs above all the practical benefit: Their favourites include light bulbs and toilet paper.

Guests of five-star hotels prefer expensive items
A total of 634 hoteliers from four-star hotels and 523 from five-star hotels were surveyed to determine the behaviour of thieves depending on their wealth. As it turns out, "Greed is good" seems to be a reliable motto, especially for the well-heeled five-star clientele.

The probability of high-quality TV sets being stolen in five-star hotels is nine times higher in comparison to the four-star segment. Similarly, artworks are popular objects of desire in luxury hotels (5.5 times higher theft probability). Tablet computers and mattresses are also being stolen a lot more frequently in five-star hotels.

Four-star hotel guests are content with less spectacular gifts: towels and hangers tend to be in higher demand than in 5-star hotels. The typical four-star hotel guest is especially fond of practical items such as batteries and remote controls (theft probability 3.1 and 4.9 times higher, respectively).

Coffeemakers
The coffeemaker, which is so popular among Austrian guests, is also sought-after by luxury-minded five-star guests, as we observe a 5.3-fold increase in theft statistics.

Toilet Paper
Hoteliers' theft reports about toilet paper rolls only reach us from the four-star segment. For luxury travellers, there seems to be no additional need for hygiene in this area.

Tablet Computers
Tablet computers, often referred to as "SuitePads" in the high-priced room categories, are stolen 8.2 times more frequently in five-star hotels. Such tablets usually have a value of approximately €420 ($465.2) and tend to be a popular souvenir among luxury travellers.

Luxury Mattresses
Even expensive luxury mattresses (often worth several thousand euros) are not immune to disappear: the probability for their theft is 8.1 times higher in five-star hotels. How exactly the bulky goods are transported unnoticed out of the hotel remains a mystery. On request, some hoteliers informed us that this only happens in the middle of the night – using elevators which lead directly to the underground parking.

Blankets
To complete their sleeping experience at home, some luxury oriented guests add the hotel's blanket to their luggage. Theft of this object is 3.9-fold increased in five-star hotels. - TradeArabia News Service

 




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