My Aunt's bag and money was stolen in a 5-star hotel in London

@cambiste (1245)
India
February 24, 2009 6:51am CST
My Aunt was on a sightseeing trip to a few European countries. The last destination was London where she would stay a day and return back. She was having dinner at a reputed 5-star hotel. It was self-serve kind of hotel, where you have to go and take the food yourself rather than having waiters wait upon you. My aunt left her handbag at her table and went to get the food. Shockingly, when she returned with the food, her bag was stolen! Everything - including the money for the return flight, was in the bag. Somehow she borrowed some money from a relative and paid for the return flight. I couldn't believe this! How shocking that people who dine at a 5-star hotel could be like this!
2 people like this
11 responses
@tudors (1556)
• China
26 Feb 09
hi, so sorry to hear it, but no matter where we are, we should take good care of our personal stuff, it is a common sense, isn't it?
1 person likes this
@cambiste (1245)
• India
26 Feb 09
I suppose so. This was a strange one though. In my country, hotels keep their reputations very well and look after their customers in a most satisfying manner. I guess Aunt was used to that. Thanks for your time tudors. Happy mylotting.
@ronnyb (6120)
• Jamaica
25 Feb 09
Wow sorry to hear about your aunt but it just goes to show that there are thieves even in seemingly pristine environments .I guess though that we shouldnt be surprised because those hotels could host a number of international criminals as well as distinguished diplomats,its just a case of who can play .The five star status really describes the service at the hotel and not the guest I am afraid,its good though that she was able to get money to come home.
1 person likes this
@cambiste (1245)
• India
25 Feb 09
I agree. When outside your known territory, one should be on guard for anything. Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it. Happy mylotting.
@laydee (12814)
• Philippines
25 Feb 09
That's still common wherever you may be. I think it's even more rampant in those places because people won't expect such things like that from happening knowing that they're in a place where people have money. That actually happened to a co-professor of my professor when they were are a tour in Europe, the woman was just choosing delicacies at a counter and when she looked at her bag, her wallet was gone. It's a good thing that she never put her passport and important documents in that wallet, she had something separate which was close to her body (a belt purse) where she put her important documents. I think it's a warning for all of us to take precaution when traveling. This is exactly what I don't like about traveling. You can't help but be worried if someone would mug you or someone would steal. I hope we'd have a way to travel without these things in our minds for once. This is only added stress to the supposedly pleasing vacation.
1 person likes this
@cambiste (1245)
• India
25 Feb 09
Thanks for the advice. Yeah, traveling doesn't sound appealing anymore. We'll have to behave like we're stealing through Afghanistan to a terrorists hideout. :( Thanks again for sharing. Happy mylotting
@cindyhxf (1447)
• China
25 Feb 09
i am sorry to hear that.my bag was stolen in restaurant last year.i called police,but they couldn't help me take back my bag.i think there are monitor in 5-star hotel,but it is hard to say hotel 's wrong.just take care of your bag anywhere!
1 person likes this
@cambiste (1245)
• India
25 Feb 09
I'm sorry to hear that. In a large place with lots of people, the police are helpless. They cant search everyone unless they have a warrant or the cooperation of the people around. Thanks for your reply. Happy mylotting.
@zhuhuifen46 (3486)
• China
25 Feb 09
It should not be surprising. The thief might be dressed decently and escaped the guards, but the electric cameras might tell something, if she is lucky. I heard about a gang, who replaced an original painting with a fake one. At self service restaurant, I never leave my bag on the seat. Who knows whose target your bag will be? When travel, I learned a saying, "Bag in the front is yours, that behind might be others'" And at a crowded elevator, you had better have a close hug of your bag, too. Take care.
1 person likes this
@cambiste (1245)
• India
25 Feb 09
Thanks for your advice. If there were cameras im sure the staff may have mentioned it. Yes, its best to be on your guard in crowded places or places with very few people. Happy mylotting
@thezone (9451)
• Ireland
25 Feb 09
Sorry to hear that about your Aunt and it was lucky she had someone with her that she could borrow money from to get home. But that kind of thing is not surprising at all, it could happen anywhere. There is more of a chance of something being stolen in a more upmarket hotel as the con men and pick pockets would frequent these places more. They would see these kind of places as rich pickings. It goes on everywhere and is unfortunate that it is a fact of the times we live in. I personally would not even leave a pack of smokes on a table unattended.
1 person likes this
@cambiste (1245)
• India
25 Feb 09
Me too. Im glad she reached home safe and sound. Life is more important - it would have been terrible to be stranded in a country with no support at all. Thanks for your words. I suppose it does happen anywhere. Happy mylotting
• United States
25 Feb 09
sorry to hear about what happened to your aunt. i work in a 4 star hotel in the usa, we do not have a restaurant there. first of all, she shouldn't have left her purse at the table regardless of where she was goin... if there was someone else with her, and goin to be sitting at the table, than that would have been ok. esp in a strange place, heck, even in a place that you know and visit regularly you should ALWAYS take your belongings with you. even if there were people watching, and saw the thief take her purse, most people wouldn't even say or do anything. have you ever watched that show "what would you do?" yeah, alot of people will just watch, and not react in means of doing anything helpful. but, i can tell you that most hotels are not responsible for lost or stolen items, although, the staff/frontdesk/manager should have atleast called the police. it's a crime whether the hotel was responsible or not, the police should have been involved. hopefully that experience doesn't stop her from traveling, but puts her more aware of her surroundings, and to ALWAYS keep all her personal stuff with her where ever she goes. (even if you are a stayover in a hotel, don't leave anything valuable in there, ask the front desk to put it in their safe until you return).
1 person likes this
@cambiste (1245)
• India
25 Feb 09
Well, it was self-serve. You can hardly expect to take your handbag and walk with a tray... I can understand why my Aunt left it there ... Perhaps people do nothing. But in my country, i noticed that everyone who's not a thief is a cop. I once had my mobile stolen in a crowded bus, and realized it only when i got down ta my stop. I immediately ran to the policeman standing there - he was a traffic police, but he left his post immediately and not only took off after the bus hitching a ride on a passing bike, but searched through every single person's bag who was sitting/standing near me with the help of the conductor - and he found and retrieved my cell phone! This happened in a small road, which had no big name or such. Living in such a place, expecting people to be decent if they're wearing decent clothes is natural. Besides, its it the hotel's responsibility to look after a customer, or even hear their grievances and TRY to help? I shudder to think of place where wolves are walking around in sheep's clothing. and the shepherd himself ignores it when a sheep is stolen.
• India
24 Feb 09
:( that is soo sad but i dont thnk the 5star hotel has anything to do with it there r bad ppl everyewher happy lotting and have a nice day! :D
1 person likes this
@cambiste (1245)
• India
25 Feb 09
Thanks for your reply. I personally don't think it was the staff or the management either. There were no staff members walking around... only customers. Perhaps it was my Aunt's carelessness - we're so used to trusting people inside a good restaurant. But till now all the hotels we've been to had waiters and good people around keeping an eye on things. This was not expected at all :( Happy mylotting.
@alokn99 (5717)
• India
24 Feb 09
People who decide to steal, will do it anywhere. And moreso in a five star hotel, where they attract lesser suspicion if they dress well and move around freely. Hotel security is slack inside hotels.While some of them have cameras installed , a lot of them concentrate on the outside. Sorry to hear that your Aunt had to go through this. I wonder though if the hotel is taking up some responsibility or just giving a general statement saying that they are not responsible and stuff like that.
@cambiste (1245)
• India
24 Feb 09
Thanks. That is true. I'm afraid they didn't help much, other than looking sorry about it. They didn't even file a report on it. :(
@donsky14 (5963)
• Philippines
24 Feb 09
So what actions did the hotel take? Did they help your aunt out or something?
1 person likes this
@cambiste (1245)
• India
24 Feb 09
No, they weren't helpful at all. Once a theft had taken place, it would be impossible to find the thief in the huge place, and obviously the management was helpless. There's no point in contacting the police either...
@pengbubu (1015)
• China
24 Feb 09
Oh, It's a big news. It's not amazing, all the world is the same, they also have bad guys live there. But for a 5-star hotel, It's a little unacceptable.
1 person likes this