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Hotel theft and what it could cost you

A slap on the wrist? A nasty charge to your credit card? Or something much, much worse? Just how much trouble can you get in for stealing from a hotel?


Bilikisu Dowodo stole two towels from the Transcorp Hilton Abuja Hotel in Nigeria back in 2010. She was found guilty and ordered to pay a fine or face three months in prison.


“It is a crime,” a Metropolitan Police spokesperson told the UK Telegraph. 


“If we were to receive allegations, we would follow them up.”


But while it’s unlikely you’ll get prison time for pocketing the shoe shine kit in your hotel room, your theft could cost you.


Many of the major hotels have a database of previous guests with sticky fingers who are no longer welcome back, NBC reported, and they’re willing to share that list with other hotels.


Get in trouble at a Hilton in Miami, for example, and you may find it hard to get a reservation at a Holiday Inn in Seattle, NBC wrote. 


“That’s because extensive databases of individual hotels’ blacklists are being systematically centralized.”


Of course, if you’ve taken something you shouldn’t have, hotels can and do charge the credit card on file, but hotel thefts can also up the price of your next stay.


According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, theft can cost hotels an estimated $100 million a year. That figure has to be recouped somehow and it’s likely going to impact the room rate of future stays.


So best leave the hotel as you found it and, if you really loved your time there, book a return stay.


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Written by: Gaya Avery
Published: 17 November 2017

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