Mike Timmermann, clarkhoward.com
With summer vacation season right around the corner, many of us will be checking in to a hotel room for some rest and relaxation.
But unfortunately, thieves can quickly turn your dream vacation into a total nightmare.
ABC News recently conducted an experiment to demonstrate how the bad guys can get access to your room – and it was surprisingly easy.
How to keep thieves from accessing your hotel room
In the experiment, “Good Morning America” sent a producer in as a guest, and safety and security expert Bill Stanton played the part of a would-be thief.
Stanton listened for the guest’s name at check-in, followed him to his room – and waited for his opening. The next morning, as the guest was working out at the gym, the would-be thief asked housekeeping to clean the room right away.
Stanton used the opportunity to walk in, take the guy’s valet card and then his car!
In a second experiment — also listening to the name and room exchange — the would-be thief managed to get access to a locked safe and everything inside.
Both hotels featured in the report said they’re addressing the incidents.
NFL player allegedly robbed twice at hotel
If you think the experiment would never happen in real life, think again.
Terrance West, an NFL player with the Baltimore Ravens, is suing a hotel group after he was robbed in his Miami Beach hotel room in February.
Deadspin reported that West and a friend met two women at their hotel. After they went their separate ways, the women allegedly went to the front desk and asked an employee for access to the NFL player’s room. According to the lawsuit, a bellman escorted the women to West’s room, and they stole two Rolex watches.
After reporting the incident to police, the NFL player claims an unidentified man later showed up to the room, threatened to kill West and his friend and demanded money and other items, including designer shoes.
West is suing the hotel and an employee for $53,129, Deadspin reported.
Top 5 hotel safety tips
According to ABC News, these are the top five ways to make sure your belongings stay safe and secure while traveling:
- Never say your name out loud at check-in. Show your ID to avoid giving any personal information that someone could overhear.
- Use the additional lock at all times while in your room.
- If you lose a room key, make sure the hotel disables the first one when they give you a replacement key.
- Leave the TV and lights on when you leave, so it looks like someone is in the room.
- Check with the hotel about their state’s liability regarding personal property loss. Don’t travel with items of great value.