Tag Archives: Guest Room

Hospitality Industry Crime Risks: Florida Hotel Guest Room Thief Arrest Assisted By Surveillance Camera Footage; Followed Housekeepers Into Rooms To Steal Cash, Personal Property

“…(the defendant) walked into a room that a maid was cleaning, flashing a hotel card and telling the maid that it was his mother’s Hotel Room Theftroom…after the maid finished and left, Johnson took off with $1,800 in cash, $10,000 in jewelry, an iPad and Chanel purse…Miami Beach Police caught a break when they obtained hotel security camera footage of the suspect leaving the building…”

Miami Beach Police arrested a suspect Thursday in a month-old burglary case, only to find that he was wanted by six other police departments and was responsible – by his own admission – for 14 other burglaries in Miami Beach alone. Johnson, of Miami Gardens, was brought in for questioning in connection with a June 8 burglary at the Miami Beach Resort and Spa Hotel where $20,000 in cash, jewelry, and electronics were stolen.

The room’s actual residents, Brazilian tourists Aparecida Pata, 58, and Denize Ferreira, 73, returned from breakfast to find their room ransacked.

After he was arrested and read his Miranda rights, Johnson confessed to the other burglaries.

1 Comment

Filed under Crime, Guest Issues, Labor Issues, Liability, Theft

Hospitality Industry Health Risks: Hotel Rooms Continue To Have “High Levels Of Bacteria” From Diversity Of Guests; “Infection Risk” As Sanitizing Equipment Goes “Room To Room”

“…a hotel is  not an operating room, and bugs may lurk, despite tip-top cleaning efforts.” The  amount of guests who check in at hotels Hotel Health And Bacteria Risksfrom different parts of the world may  increase the exposure of germs…Cleaning items used by housekeepers such  as sponges and mops were also found to have high levels of bacteria which  increases the risk of infection as they go from room to room using the same  sanitizing equipment…”

On average, hotel housekeepers spend 30 minutes cleaning each room — about 14  to 16 rooms in an eight hour shift. In a study conducted at the University of Houston,  researchers took 19 bacteria samples from items found in three hotel rooms in  three states: Texas, Indiana and South Carolina. While high levels of bacteria  were discovered in bathroom sinks and floors, the dirtiest areas were light  switches and TV remotes, which contained 112.7 colony-forming unites of bacteria (CFUs)  and 67.6 CFUs, respectively. Moreover, light switches had the highest levels of  fecal matter bacteria with 111.1 CFUs.

“Guests  should not assume that their hotel room, not to mention all common surfaces  around the hotel such as doorknobs, front-desk pens … while (hopefully) clean,  are not sterile,” Matilde Parente, MD, a California-based  physician, biomedical safety consultant, and author board certified in pathology  and integrative holistic medicine, told Medical Daily.

Read more at http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/16908/20130626/hotel-health-risks-chronic-illnesses-long-stay.htm#Iobk2OkS3QmG1emv.99

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Issues, Health, Maintenance, Risk Management, Training

Hospitality Industry Crime Risks: Arizona Hotel Guest Reports $2,000 Stolen After Front Desk Accidently Gives Out Victim’s Room Key

“…The hotel front desk worker told police he accidentally gave the suspect the victim’s room key after forgetting the room was already Hotel Theft Surveillanceassigned…a short time later, the suspect and an unidentified man checked out, saying the room was dirty, according to the police report. By the time the victim came back to her room, her purse and clothes bag were gone…”

A 24-year-old Arizona woman had an interesting response when given the wrong room key at an Oak Creek hotel last week: Steal the clothes and purse of the person staying there. According to a police report, the woman took advantage of a mix-up at the Days Inn front counter and got off with more than $2,000 worth of valuables and clothes belonging to a woman staying at the hotel with co-workers.

The purse contained a phone, credit cards, social security card, $30 in cash, a diamond ring valued at $1,500 and a check made out to her for $1,500. The check and credit cards were canceled.

Clothes, an iPad, sunglasses, an umbrella and more jewelry were also stolen, according to the report.

The front desk worker told the victim that Days Inn is responsible for paying to replace the items stolen, according to police.

For more:  http://oakcreek.patch.com/articles/room-key-mix-up-leads-to-theft-of-purse-clothes

Leave a comment

Filed under Crime, Guest Issues, Labor Issues, Risk Management, Theft

Hospitality Industry Property Risks: California Hotel Fire Caused By “Guest Throwing Towel Over Candle”; $30,000 In Structural And Smoke Damage

“… a man staying in the second floor room, a worker in town on business regarding the Chevron refinery HOTEL FIREshutdown, reportedly threw the towel over a lit candle in his room before he left just after 5 a.m., in attempts to put it out…hotel employees discovered the fire about five minutes later, and tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher…”

Fire crews knocked down a two-alarm fire at the Courtyard Marriott early Friday morning after a hotel occupant tried to put out a candle by throwing a towel over it, officials said.

Firefighters arrived at the hotel at 3150 Garrity Way at 5:11 a.m., to find the room had gone up in flames, billowing smoke throughout the hotel. The fire was knocked down within 10 minutes, but not before causing $30,000 in damage, Turner said.

All hotel occupants were evacuated from their rooms, Turner said. Nobody was injured, but some hotel guests were disturbed by the morning’s events.

“The Marriott did a good job of getting everyone out, giving everyone breakfast and making sure all of the guests were safe,” Turner said. “Most people were very happy.”

Fire crews were able to keep the damage to the one room, and the rest of guests were able to return to their rooms early Friday morning,

Leave a comment

Filed under Claims, Fire, Guest Issues, Insurance, Maintenance, Management And Ownership

Hospitality Industry Security Risks: Hotel Electronic Door Locks In “Various Stages Of Being Repaired”; “Mechanical Caps And Security Screws” Provided To Block Hackers

In October, hotel insurance-related company Petra Risk Solutions issued its hotel clients an alert headlined, “Crime Alert – Onity Guestroom Door hackers are for real.”

Onity Electronic LockIn Florida, Petra loss prevention expert Todd Seiders said he received reports that a hacker had been seen carrying a laptop and using a key card – possibly connected to the laptop – to open locked guestroom doors.

The locks on more than 1 million guestroom doors are in various stages of being repaired, following the revelation this summer that they may be vulnerable to hackers.

The New York Marriott Marquis, the biggest hotel in Manhattan, for instance, just completed updating all of its nearly 2,000 door locks. The hotel is one of thousands of properties with guestroom locks manufactured by Onity, a division of United Technologies. An Onity website also shows Sheraton, Hyatt, Holiday Inn, Fairmont, Radisson and other well-known hotels from Paris to Perth as also having its locks updated.

The hacking tool, according to Petra’s alert, could be made for about $50 in easy-to-acquire electronic parts.

“Please train and notify your hotel staff that these burglaries are spreading across the country,” Petra’s alert cautioned hoteliers. “Hotel staff should be vigilant while they are on the guest floors and paying attention to guests walking through hallways…Take time to watch guests walking through your hallways to ensure they are going to a room and entering it. Be very suspicious of someone carrying a laptop or small bag wandering the hallways. Greet guests and ask them if they need assistance.”

Onity did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment about the issue. But in a statement updated for December on its website, Onity says that as of Nov. 30, it has shipped hardware to fix 1.4 million hotel door locks. The hardware includes mechanical caps and security screws that “block physical access to the lock ports that hackers use to illegally break into hotel rooms.”

For more:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/hotelcheckin/2012/12/14/hotels-fixing-flaw-that-made-room-locks-vulnerable-to-hackers/1769081/

Leave a comment

Filed under Crime, Guest Issues, Liability, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Technology, Theft

Hospitality Industry Crime Risks: Tennessee Hotel Rooms Broken Into By “Convicted Burglar” Using “Chiseled Tip Knife” And Keycards Stolen From Cleaning Carts

“…Police said Brown was carrying seven keycards from several hotels as well as knife with a chiseled tip that could be used to defeat locking mechanisms…He told police he had taken the keys from a cleaning cart…”

Police are investigating whether a man who allegedly broke into a hotel room in downtown Nashville had any involvement in ten other similar hotel burglary since January.

Police said the victims were inside their hotel room on the 13th floor of the Renaissance Hotel when 35-year-old Antoun Brown came in and asked where the ice machine was, and then made his way into the bathroom before leaving.

The victims told police they heard someone messing with their door lock before he came inside.

Hotel security apprehended him on the 4th floor and held him until police arrived to take him into custody.

Brown, who is a convicted burglar, was charged with aggravated burglary and possession of a burglary tool.  His bond was set at $13,000.

For more:  http://www.newschannel5.com/story/20040554/man-allegedly-broke-into-downtown-hotel-room

Leave a comment

Filed under Crime, Guest Issues, Liability, Maintenance, Risk Management, Theft

Hospitality Industry Security Risks: “Hacking Hotel Locks In Seconds With Cheap Tools” (ABC News Video)

Why 100’s of thousands of tourists are vulnerable to theft or worse.

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Issues, Liability, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Technology, Theft

Hospitality Industry Security Risk Management: Hotels Face Increased Risk Of “Guestroom Burglaries” From Electronic Door Lock Hacking Devices

By Todd Seiders, CLSD

As many of you may have heard, the computer “hacking” community has made a small device that can open Onity hotel guestroom door locks. It costs approximately $50 in readily available electronic parts, and the device has been concealed in an iPhone case and a Dry Erase marking pen body (yes, the felt tipped dry erase pen used on whiteboards).

The hacking device plugs into the door locks, and opens the door. It shows up on the lock readout as a “portable programmer” use, but no serial number for the portable programmer is noted.

**We are now experiencing actual guestroom burglaries and guest thefts by use of these devices in Texas. Multiple rooms have been hit at several hotels. An arrest was made in Houston on some of these burglaries, so I hope to have additional info on that very soon.

**I am also receiving reports from hotels in Florida that a similar “hacker” has been seen carrying a laptop computer and using a key card (possibly connected to the laptop) to open guestroom door locks. There have been several guestroom burglaries and actual witnesses who saw the suspect with his laptop, using a key card to access locked guestrooms.

Please TRAIN and notify your hotel staff that these burglaries are spreading across the country. Hotel staff should be vigilant while they are on the guest floors and paying attention to guests walking through hallways. Take time to watch guests walking through your hallways to ensure they are going to a room and entering it. Be very suspicious of someone carrying a laptop or small bag wandering the hallways. Greet guests and ask them if they need assistance. If they appear nervous, or cannot tell you what room they are looking for, escort them to the lobby, or escort them to where a security camera is, so you can get a picture of them. If they leave the hotel, follow them and try and write down a vehicle license plate on their vehicle. Your hotel staff has to be more active on your guest floors when they see people walking around.

Onity locks is not accepting liability for the defect in their hotel locks, and have offered a software fix for the problem. Onity is charging hotels to supply the fix.

I’m sorry to say that this burglary issue will only get bigger as the hackers share their tales and their build your own device details in the future.

I’ll keep you posted on this topic…..

Todd Seiders, CLSD
Director of Risk Management

Email: ToddS@PetraRiskSolutions.com
Phone: (800) 466-8951 ext 207

Direct: (562) 623-0976
Fax: (800) 494-6829
Lic #0817715


Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Issues, Insurance, Liability, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Theft, Training

Hospitality Industry Property Risks: Missouri Motel Fire Caused By Guest Smoking In Bed; Several “Oxygen Tanks” Were In Room

“…The man (was) on oxygen, and McConnell says there were several oxygen tanks in the man’s room…Officials investigating the cause of the blaze told KSPR News the fire was indeed accidental. The fire started near the bed, and officials had warned the man before about smoking in bed…”

Fire officials say a fire that killed a man in a west Springfield motel was accidental in nature. The call to fire crews was made around 2:15 Monday morning. The flames were coming out of one room of the Cloud Drift Motel, 3601 West Sunshine Street, west of West Bypass.

An attempt was made to rescue a man who was staying in the room, but the flames were too high for anyone to get inside. Brookline Fire Chief Larry McConnell says his crew is familiar with the man who died in the fire. He says they have responded to medical calls for him.

Once tankers arrived, the fire was put out quickly. Fire crews from Brookline and Willard responded. The Greene County Sheriff’s Department is assisting with the investigation. No firefighters were hurt. The room where the victim was staying is damaged heavily. The unit next door was also burned, but no one was there when the fire happened.

For more:  http://www.kspr.com/news/kspr-fatal-fire-one-man-is-dead-after-a-fire-in-west-springfield-20121008,0,6937042.story

Leave a comment

Filed under Fire, Guest Issues, Injuries, Insurance

Hospitality Industry Legal Risks: Illinois Hotel Sued For “Failing To Recognize Signs Of, Inspect And Exterminate Bed Bugs In Guest Rooms”

“…(the lawsuit) is against…Marriott and the former Hickory Ridge Marriott Conference Hotel for failing to provide guests with a sanitary rooms, failing to inspect and exterminate rooms and failing to recognize signs of bed bug attacks, among other claims…”

Two women filed a lawsuit Monday in Cook County Circuit Court againstMarriott International Inc.and a now-closed Lisle Marriott Conference Center after claiming they and their respective children received numerous bed bug bites while staying at the hotel last August. April, Safford and the two children stayed at the suburban hotel from Aug. 6 to Aug. 15, 2011, according to the lawsuit.

During her stay at the hotel, April noticed bumps and bites all over her child’s “arms, hands, back, legs and scalp” while helping him get dressed, according to the lawsuit. She brought this to the attention of the manager, who asked if April had made a request for clean sheets, the lawsuit says.

The two women and both children were diagnosed as having “numerous bed bug bites from a significant infestation,” according to the lawsuit.

For more:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/lisle/chi-women-sue-hotel-chain-over-bed-bug-bites-20120820,0,3322080.story


Filed under Guest Issues, Health, Liability, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Training