Thursday, September 16, 2010

Three months in jail for stealing two hotel towels.

From ABC News:
Think twice before you take that bar of soap from your next hotel room.

A woman now faces up to three months in jail just for taking two towels from a hotel room.

A court in Nigeria has convicted Bilikisu Dowodu of stealing the towels from the Transcorp Hilton Abuja Hotel, in the country's capital city. She now has to either pay a $20 fine or spend three months in jail.

While this is probably an extreme case of punishment, guests stealing items from rooms costs hotels millions of dollars each year. And we're not just talking about some shampoo and towels.

Guests have walked out of hotels with hair dryers, corkscrews, phones, ironing boards, radios, flowers, bibles, luggage stands, coffee mugs and just about anything else that isn't bolted down.

To stop theft, hotels have secured lamps, TVs and hangers. Artwork has been bolted to the walls and mini-bars have gone high-tech. But at a certain point, hotels have to balance offering nice amenities and making their rooms feel like prison cells.

Upscale chains now don't offer robes, umbrellas and even sometimes linens in their rooms, but sell them instead in the gift shop and have added price tags to the in-room items. The moves have dramatically cut theft.

No comments: