You may wonder how safe are those in-room safes that you find at most hotels and where you are instructed to store all your valuable. It turns out that they are not safe at all!
Housekeeping staff member at Marriott affiliated hotel, the Cavalier (Autograph Collection) in Virginia Beach, had used the housekeeping master key to enter the guest room and then stole $35,000 ring from the in-room safe.
Here’s an excerpt from the Richmond Times (access their piece here):
A former housekeeper at a historic Virginia Beach hotel was sentenced this week to 30 days in jail for stealing a guest’s $35,000 diamond ring.
Chrystal Monique Gregory, 28, pleaded guilty to grand larceny in August. Prosecutors said she used an employee key to break into an Ohio couple’s suite at The Cavalier hotel. Once inside, she entered a master code to open a safe where the victims left the 2¼-carat diamond engagement ring. It featured a platinum and gold band and diamonds encrusted along the centerpiece, an appraiser found.
And from Virginian-Pilot (access their piece here):
The ring consisted of a platinum and yellow gold band, with a 2¼-carat round diamond and four baguette-cut diamonds surrounding it, according to an appraisal of the ring submitted as evidence.
On June 20, 2018, Gregory used her employee key to enter the room four times, including once at 3:18 p.m., according to a statement of facts. Records showed that the room safe was opened using a master code one minute later, the statement said.
Once a master code is used, the code is reset, which prevented the couple from opening the safe later with their personal code, the statement said.
When questioned by police, Gregory admitted to going in the room alone to clean it on the day of the theft.
I once left a stash of cash to an in-room safe and went to pick up the following day. It took from the hotel security roughly two seconds to open the safe. Couldn’t believe how simple it was.
If you think that in room-safes are safe, you should think again. It is better not to take anything precious with you when traveling.