Tag Archives: Flat Panel TV

Hospitality Industry Theft Risks: West Virginia Hotel Foils Flat Panel TV Theft With Electronic Key Audit; Thief Was Guest Who Was Fined $250 For Smoking In Room

“….a West Virginia man was fined $250 for smoking in his room…(the extra charge was added) onto the bill and slipped under the door…(he) was so upset that he retaliated by stealing a $500 flat-screen television from the hotel’s workout room, Palm Beach police said…”

The hotel found its thief by auditing the guest keys used to access the workout room, police said. It then located an object the size of the missing television hidden by a bed sheet in Nelson’s rental vehicle.

But some quick detective work by police and a hotel employee led to Nelson’s arrest Friday on a charge of grand theft. Police took him to the Palm Beach County Jail.

Nelson told detectives he used a penny to unscrew some screws and a tire iron to break a lock that held the television to a wall bracket.

For more:  http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/news/smoking-fine-spurs-theft-of-hotel-flat-screen-820141.html


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

Hospitality Industry Theft Risks: Surveillance Video Shows Man Stealing Flat Screen TV From Washington Hotel Conference Room

“…Surveillance video from the waterfront Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel in Vancouver, Wash., shows a man last week carting out a 42-inch TV set – at 6 p.m. in the evening, according to The Colombian…”

“…The stolen TVs are valued at about $1,000 each. TVs stolen from guest rooms won’t work outside the hotel, but the TV from the conference room will, the story says…”

And the same man is believed to have stolen TV sets from a Staybridge Suites hotel and a Country Inn and Suites hotel near the Portland, Oregon, airport. It’s not clear whether others are involved in the scam.

This particular thief can be seen in the Homewood Suites hotel’s video using a hand truck to haul the TV wrapped in yellow hotel linens into a green Ford Escort wagon, the Colombian reports. He then returned the hand truck to the hotel and drove away.

The items came from the hotel’s conference room, where a meeting was held earlier that day, hotel general manager Kari Jonassen told the Colombian.

“This just makes me so mad that somebody has the gall to do this,” Jonassen told the paper.

For more:  http://travel.usatoday.com/hotels/post/2011/06/vancouver-washington-thief-steals-tv-sets-from-hotels-homewood-suites/174274/1?csp=34travel&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+hotelcheckincommunityfeed+%28Hotel+Check-in%3A+A+road+warrior%27s+guide+to+the+lodging+landscape+-+USATODAY.com%29&utm_content=Yahoo%21+Mail

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Filed under Guest Issues, Insurance, Liability, Management And Ownership, Theft

Hospitality Industry Theft Risks: Hotel Surveillance Cameras And Guest “Identification” Procedures Are Best Deterrent To Property Theft

Gordon called the April 3 thefts at the Hampton Inns “very brazen, and quite frankly stupid,” given that the hotel lobbies have surveillance cameras.

In both cases, Gordon said, Cole checked in using a fake ID and paid in cash. Then he and Harrington left with flat-screens worth more than $1,000 each, Gordon said.

(From an AJC.com article)   Jonathan Cole and Brooke Harrington have been arrested by the Atlanta Police Department, Alpharetta police spokesman George Gordon said Friday.

Police were looking for Cole and Harrington after they hit two Hampton Inns in Alpharetta on a single Saturday. They also are wanted for similar thefts in Gwinnett County and the city of Norcross, Gordon told the AJC.

“We had been looking for them for a while … They hid out really well,” Gordon said. “This was a prolific crew traveling all over metro Atlanta area.”


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Filed under Crime, Insurance, Liability, Theft, Training

Hotel Industry Theft: Criminals Target Small Hotel Flat-Screen TV’s To Steal

Alpharetta police said the thieves, a man and a woman, will rent a room to steal the televisions. They pay with cash and use a fraudulent driver’s license for identification.

(From a CBSAtlanta.com article)   A couple is stealing flat screen televisions from Alpharetta hotels, police said Thursday.

“It’s very frustrating because we put a lot of money and energy into the hotel, and somebody just checks in and decides to take it,” said Tracey Cox.

Cox is the manager of a Hampton Inn in Alpharetta that had two flat screens stolen this past weekend.

Alpharetta police said the thieves, a man and a woman, will rent a room to steal the televisions. They pay with cash and use a fraudulent driver’s license for identification.

Just hours before Cox’s hotel was hit, the thieves targeted another Hampton Inn in Alpharetta stealing three televisions. Alpharetta police said they’re also investigating if the couple is responsible for similar burglaries in other area cities.

The man and woman’s images were clearly captured on hotel surveillance cameras. Police have identified the woman and are looking for her. However, they’re asking for the public’s help identifying and locating the man.

“We want to prevent this from happening at other hotels, and we want to get the bad guy, because that’s a crime,” said Cox.


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Filed under Crime, Liability, Theft

Hospitality Industry Risk: Smaller Hotels Reporting An “Epidemic” In Theft Of Flat Screen TV’s From Rooms Prompting Many Operators To Install Camera Systems

The theft prompted him to take action, investing in a $1,500 camera system to monitor the walkways outside rooms and, hopefully, he said, act as a deterrent to other would-be thieves.

(From a ReporterNews.com article)   Theft is “frequent enough we have to make a large order every month for linens and supplies we shouldn’t have to,” said Jo Ann Schibi, manager of the MCM Elegante Hotel. “It’s the hotel business. It’s been like this forever.”

Perhaps, but missing televisions have upped the ante for some victimized hotels in Abilene.

Dasi Reddy, owner of the Knights Inn Civic Plaza Hotel downtown, said he’s had six or seven televisions taken from rooms in the past 14 months.

At Motel 6 just west of town and near Interstate 20, eight flat-screen televisions were reported stolen March 7 from an unoccupied room, just two days after a 32-inch television had been reported stolen from a hotel room.

Local staff at the Motel 6 declined to comment, and police were unavailable Friday to discuss the case.

But TV thefts were described as “a new epidemic for us” by Laura Rojo-Eddy, director of corporate communications for Accor North America, the parent company of Motel 6.

The chain began renovations in the second-half of 2008 that included the addition of flat-screen televisions to rooms. With the flat-screen televisions, however, more thefts have followed, said Rojo-Eddy.

“I guess they’re smaller and easier to carry,” said Rojo-Eddy. “The industry kind of has had a problem to take care of them.”

For hotel operators, the losses hurt the bottom line during an economic recession that has included a sharp decrease in travel spending.

With an insurance deductible that doesn’t cover a $200 loss, Reddy said he mainly has paid for the replacement televisions himself.

Several items — including a television, microwave and ice machine — turned up missing March 12 after the departure of guests staying through a church outreach program, Reddy said.

“We want to help them,” said Reddy, who charges churches a reduced rate when they are helping house homeless or other displaced people. The church sponsoring the stay has been able to return some of the missing items to the hotel, he noted.



Filed under Crime, Insurance, Liability, Theft

Hotel Theft Prevention: Flat Screen TV Theft From Hotel Rooms Can Be Minimized By Simple Inventory And Anti-Theft Procedures

We are getting reports of more and more flat panel television thefts from hotels. Here is some theft prevention suggestions that I have found that are working for various hotels.

The majority of flat screen thefts are from in-hotel gyms and workout rooms. The gyms have larger screen TVs than the guestrooms, and they are often unoccupied. It appears that these thefts are probably “inside jobs” by current or former hotel employees, or by outsiders that have colluded with current employees. Employees know the staffing levels, how to sneak in and out of the hotel, and what the security cameras cover. So don’t overlook employees when you investigate these thefts.

Other TV thefts are stolen from common areas of the hotel, such as function rooms, breakfast rooms, etc. There are thefts of TVs from guestrooms, but they are minimal at the time of this writing.

So, what can you do to prevent these thefts? Consider these four simple steps:

  1. Inventory ALL of your flat screen televisions and write down their serial numbers. Prepare a spreadsheet of all the televisions’ serial number, make, screen size and exact location inside the hotel. If the TV is stolen, you will have the exact serial number of that television to report to the Police.
  2. Report all thefts to the Police, including the serial number. Take the time to report the theft. Once it is “officially” reported as stolen, it now becomes a felony crime to sell the TV or to be in possession of it. These TVs show up in police raids, pawn shops, and even at other hotels. Courts and District Attorneys often do not file charges against someone found with a TV, if it was never reported stolen in the first place. Protect your right to prosecute the thief, who may turn out to be an employee.
  3. Write or paint your hotel name on the back of each TV. Thieves hate this, as they have to clean it off before they can sell them, and it often looks like they altered or removed something from the TV; so people buying the TV get nervous about the purchase. You can buy felt tip pens that contain and write in paint, not regular ink. It is an easy way to inscribe your hotel’s name on each television. Guests won’t see the writing on the back of the television. This also leads Police back to your hotel if someone is stopped and has the TV in their back seat.
  4. Install an anti-theft alarm to each high risk flat panel televisions. These alarm boxes are typically glued with epoxy onto the back of the TVs. If someone removes the TV, a loud audible alarm is triggered and can run for hours on a small battery. The alarm can be deactivated by Management using a special key when there is a need to move or service the television. Many hotels have used this device and have had good luck with it. It is a reasonably priced anti-theft device for your high risk flat panel TVs.

 One such anti-theft alarm that many hotels use is Sonic Shock. It can be used to safeguard televisions, computers, laptops, LCD projectors, and other high-value theft prone equipment. Audible alarms are widely by colleges, universities, and businesses worldwide who wish to keep high-value electronic assts in the open and accessible without the worry of them “walking off”. Designed to emit an ear-piercing audible noise if the equipment is moved, the devices rob thieves of stealth and anonymity. They either have to spend time trying to deal with the alarm, take the alarm with them, or leave empty handed. It is sort of like the red-dye packets that bank insert into the bags of money they are forced to hand over to bank robbers, making it pretty easy to ascertain when a theft occurs. As always, please evaluate the product for yourself, as The Rooms Chronicle® and Petra does not guarantee this product, its use or reliability. Neither TRC nor Petra makes money from the sales or recommendation of this product.

(Todd Seiders, CLSD, is a regular contributing author for The Rooms Chronicle® and director of risk management for Petra Risk Solutions, which provides a full-range of risk management and insurance services for hospitality owners and operators. Their website is: www.petrarisksolutions.com. Todd can be reached at 800-466-8951 or via e-mail at: todds@petrarisksolutions.com.)  


Filed under Insurance, Liability, Theft