Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's a Double Edged Sword

It has been a while, but it just happened again...a professional thief struck!

At the Chancellor Hotel, we try to provide a welcoming and friendly environment for people to relax and enjoy themselves, as most service oriented businesses do. However, while hotels and restaurants try to make customers feel comfortable, they must always keep their guard up. Professional thieves know how to take advantage of people relaxing and letting their guard down and we just saw it again.

A guest was sitting at the bar and had her purse on the floor to her right as she was talking with a friend to her left. A nicely dressed lady walked in and sat down in the seat next to the purse on the floor. The nicely dressed lady ordered a glass of wine and engaged in some small talk. As she did that, she manipulated the purse with her foot. Eventually she lifts the purse up by putting her foot in the straps and reaches down to take out the wallet. She uses her feet to work the purse back into the position where it was and SUCCESS!

The lady finishes her wine, acts like she is taking a phone call and leaves.

How do we know all this? We have cameras through out the public areas of the hotel, and the victim found out her wallet was missing when she went to pay her bar tab a short while later. The victim was sure she had her wallet when she arrived, so we looked back at the video. You can see it all, and she was good.

By the time the victim called to cancel her cards, there was $1,800 charged at Nordstrom's and $300 in gas purchases.

I hope by sharing this story, someone will avoid the same thing happening to them. Please, relax and enjoy, but do not let your guard down. Keep purses and valuables in your view. Do not wear backpacks on your back on transit or in busy areas. Do not walk with your purse over your shoulder. Do not leave purses and bags at tables in bars and restaurants, or sit with a purse or bag hanging on the back of a chair. Thieves are constantly roaming looking for opportunity. If you do not give them the opportunity, you will not be a victim.


Vegaztony said...

That really sucks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the warning. Is it safe for a woman by herself to be walking around there? I've always felt quite safe before going between Moscone and the hotel.

Wes Tyler GM said...

I consider it very safe. Hopefully, my blog entry makes it a little safer for folks so they do not have to worry and can have a great experience.