crime

Couple arrested for stealing hotel amenities

48 Comments
By Steven Simonitch

One of my favorite things about staying at a hotel is all the complimentary stuff they let you take home. From toiletries to beverages, bathrobes to coffee makers, each visit to a hotel is like a smorgasbord of free everyday items — the only limit is your suitcase.

Some people claim that not everything in the hotel is free. That aside the cheap toiletries everything in the room is hotel property and taking it home is “stealing.”

Yeah, sure. Even if that is true, what are they going to do, call the Hotel Gestapo?

No, but they will call the police, as one Japanese couple found out after being arrested for stealing hotel amenities.

Police arrested the couple, a 21-year-old male college student and his 22-year-old girlfriend, earlier this month on suspicion of theft after a hotel in Ehime Prefecture reported that nine items totaling 22,700 yen had gone missing from a room the two had stayed in back in March.

The girl was arrested on Oct 1 after police found a bath towel and face towel belonging to the hotel in her home. The police hit the motherload three days later when they uncovered two bathrobes, an ashtray, an accessory case and more from the boyfriend’s home.

The couple admitted to the charges, the boyfriend explaining, “The bathrobe was stylish and looked really good on me so I took it home” and “I took them as mementos from time together with my girlfriend.”

One person involved in the investigation comments that while many people believe snatching good from hotel rooms is harmless, it should be realized that it is indeed a full-fledged crime.

Source: MSN Japan

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48 Comments
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Yes, bathrobes and ash trays are theft...but getting the police involved is a bit heavy handed, isn't it? They must have the couple's credit card details on file, so why not just charge the cost of the stolen stuff to their credit card and be done with it? They wouldn't do it again after that, that's for sure...

7 ( +13 / -7 )

Talk about a waste of good Jcop time!!! People should steal more bikes to keep them cops working!!! LOL And you cheap scambags: ALL that is not yours is NOT YOURS. Don't take it home. If you wanted the mementos go down to the lobby and buy one!!! It is cheaper than the lawyer you will pay for when you are caught!!!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Guess it depends on the hotel... Some hotels want a credit card number to cover any expenses like this. Other hotels seem to be really relaxed. I stayed at a great hotel in Okinawa which had beautiful yukatas. I asked the receptionist if I could purchase one but he said no... Then he smiled and told me that no one would notice if 1 yukata was was missing with a big smile.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I've been very tempted. Whew.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

welllll glad ive never took bathrobes

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Taken in March....wait 7 months...and searched in October. This is equally disturbing to me. They probably had no idea they would be searched by police 7 months later for a bath robe.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

nasty little hotel it is - absolutely no hotel abroad would bother, and especially Japanese hotels that charge per person are the ones needed reporting to police in reality. After you pay over 200Usd for a couple in a 3-4 star hotel here you should be entitled to anything you want from that room except furniture / electronics

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

absolutely no hotel abroad would bother

its happened a ton of times, theft is theft in any country.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Interesting.... In the lodging industry, "consumables" such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc. which once used are not reusable are considered included as part of the guests' fees or rent for the day/night and paid for. All other items that can be re-used and fixed to the room are considered "hotel property."

Problem is that the public is misinformed about such things. For some, it is a cultural problem.

Funny things is more things disappear from hotels due to employee theft of such items. Sad to say, that also is a cultural problem where certain national or cultural groups indicate a much higher rate of theft.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Unbelievable that people would steal towels and bathrobes from their room.... ... you should always steal those from the maid's cart in the hall.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I want nothing in my home that came from a hotel.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Toiletires are usually thrown away, even if they are not used. I would not stay at some high priced hotel, if they reused tolietries, used or unused, so thats one thing. But the robes and yukatas? Those are things that should not be taken, under any circumstances, and ashtrays? And the coffee maker? Thats going a little too far.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Toiletries such as toothbrush, and razor. That's about it.. However, theft is theft. So, I will definitely think twice

0 ( +1 / -1 )

bathrobes to coffee makers,each visit to a hotel is like a smorgasbord of free everyday items — the only limit is your suitcase.

No it isn't , it's a hotel room...

After you pay over 200Usd for a couple in a 3-4 star hotel here you should be entitled to anything you want from that room except furniture / electronics

No, you shouldn't.

Ridiculous article, in both tone and content ( the laissez faire attitude and flippant tone ) . What's the point of having this article here?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I can understand people taking complimentary items, but according to the author coffee makers and bathrobes are included in what is free to take. Um, no. I do believe that every really knows which items are free to take and which ones are not.

It's not that difficult and if you really want something but are not sure, the best thing to do is ask if you're allowed.

Free to take: -tiny soap bars and shampoo, toothbrushes, razors. That's pretty much it. Depending on the hotel there may also be a few other freebies that they won't mind you taking.

What you can't take: Towels, bathrobes/yukatas, ashtrays, cups/glasses, pillows, blankets, electronic equipment

I believe that everyone really knows that they can't take things like the towels, but do it anyway to see if they can get away with it. Most places won't follow up because it's just not worth the time and effort but I can totally understand this hotel going after a couple who took over 20,000 yen worth of stuff.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Bathtowels are a nono, but those little handtowels with the hotel's name and phone number on - those they want/expect you to take away. Usually I don't because I don't want a wet towel in my bag and a freebie towel is really not the kind of thing you want hanging in your own bathroom at home, but many places are happy to provide you with a new one if you ask. The key point, I suppose, is - ask first.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

What a bummer... I guess I should not even think of doing this next time I go to a love hotel. Some love hotels have a lot of amenities and extras around. Thank goodness I have never taken anything home, I mean who would want to anyway. They have been used by so many people in all sort of walk of life doing all sorts of naughty things a human can possibly do. It sucks to be these two individuals.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I think it's partly a kid thing. I still have a towel from a resort in Portugal I took when I was their age. Close to 20 yrs ago. I don't go around taking stuff now, I think it was my first time to go and stay and pay for a hotel room (w/ girlfriend) and yes, probably wanted a memento, or maybe even thought they were complimentary. Funny, don't remember. Sounds like these kids overdid it, but arrest is a little over-doing it, unless they are like making a business out of it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's amazing what the cops will do here when they ignore so much else. Anyway, the lesson here is not to get too greedy -- some things you can take, but not all.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

police hit the motherload three days later...

Hope that didn't involve calling in the big guns working in CSI or robbery / homicide, as we wouldn't want them taken away from working more serious crimes - such as working bicycle thefts at the train stations.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Anyone with a bit of common sense (and education) knows what they can take and what not.

why not just charge the cost of the stolen stuff to their credit card and be done with it?

They can't do that. The cardholder needs to sign the invoice.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Hotel amenities look so unique and attractive with their hotel logo and name printed on it. Once in a Tokyo hotel bar. I just ask the hotel bar receptionist if I can buy that beautiful astray. The receptionist just smile and ask her supervisor and for my surprise she give me as a present. So please don't steal.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

coffe maker, microwave,bible and everything else that fits is ok to take!

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Why would anybody who could afford to stay in a hotel steal? It's just scummy.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If they provide it, such as lotion or hair washing materials, I will take them ONLY if I used them in the first place. All else I do not want or care to have.

I believe the couple knew better but simply did not care. The items didn't accidently come home with them.

If bathrobes and towels were free, hotels would market their establishment as having these extra amenities.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

22700 yen thats about £170 so they should get arrested, his excuse was it was amomento of there time togetter, so if they had gone into an expensive store, would it be ok to steal £170 from that shop as well? NO! they would have been arrested. a hotel is the same its no excuse to steal.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There's usually an itemised price list available. Whatever's listed on it, you do not take home. Sentimental values aside....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder if the author feels the same way about the 'five finger discount'? The old shop-lifting. Taking stuff from the hotel room is stealing, pure and simple. I've never even left with as much as a towel.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I will note which people here I will never, ever, invite to my home.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes, bathrobes and ash trays are theft...but getting the police involved is a bit heavy handed, isn't it? They must have the couple's credit card details on file, so why not just charge the cost of the stolen stuff to their credit card and be done with it? They wouldn't do it again after that, that's for sure...

How is it heavy handed? They stole property. End of story. They took more than what a bike is worth (the cheaper mamacheri type) and people get ticked off at the cops here for not finding them. Not all places use credit cards. How much has this couple stolen over the life and never been charged? Things add up. Charge them. I personally think this is a good use of police time - thefts are thefts be it hotel room crap, bikes or white collar crime.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Am surprised. Japanese are in general very honest and law abiding. Also the hotel could have called the couple and have them returned the items or charge it to their credit cards. To be arrested and then have a police record is not worth it.

I have stayed thousands of nights in hotels around the world. Irrespective of how much I have to pay, I take only toiletries if they are of good brands. Why bother with other items that have been used repeatedly by other guests?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"hotel... bathrobes"

Ha ha, this reminds me of the movie Beverly Hills Cop in which detective Alex Foley, played by Eddie Murphy, steals five bathrobes from the hotel where he's staying and gives two of them to the other two cops, ha ha!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyone with a bit of common sense (and education) knows what they can take and what not.

The mine and thine remains a fine line difficult to comprehend [by some], evidenced by what the couple did and the one(s) who voted me down :-)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Theft is theft, of course, but it's one thing to take a bathrobe... It's something quite different to clean out your hotel room, which is what these people seem to have done.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Arrested? Really? Why not just charge their credit card for the stolen stuff?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@presto345

They can't do that. The cardholder needs to sign the invoice.

Incorrect...When you check into a room you sign an agreement stating you will be responsible for any and all charges incurred during your stay and if you provided credit card info, it can/will be charged. Some hotels enforce to an even greater extent requesting credit card info to hold a reservation, even if you don't check in, your card is still charged for holding the room...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't think you can charge anything on someone's credit card without the owner's concent, can you? They will simply just refuse to pay for it.

As for bathrobes and ash trays, these are minor items but they can very well turn into more valuable things. I heard that TVs are stolen from hotels in various parts of the world since nowadays it's flat and easier to fit in suitcases.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't think you can charge anything on someone's credit card without the owner's concent, can you? They will simply just refuse to pay for it.

As I explained, when you check into the room you've already signed an agreement to be charged for all costs incurred, you've already given consent...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What about hotel slippers? Brought some super kushy ones back from a hotel in Thailand; they didnt seem like something that would be washable and were in a sealed plastic bag when we checked in... Some things like that are fairly borderline though - i wouldnt want those slippers to have been recycled from previous guests

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, I hope they did not steel the toilet slippers. That would be very low.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why didn't the hotel contact them after they found the stuff stolen and ask for it back or offer them to pay for it. You fill in your contact details when you check in.

How is it heavy handed? They stole property. End of story.

I agree the stole property. However, instead of involving the police it would have been better to contact them first.

One thing I find strange about this. How did the police 'find' this stuff at these peoples places. I mean, did they search their place? I would say it should be difficult to get a search warrant on something so small.

However, everybody these days knows not to take that stuff. Hotels used to suffer from it a lot, so most will offer to sell you the robes etc. for your memento.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Incorrect...When you check into a room you sign an agreement stating you will be responsible for any and all charges incurred during your stay

Yup, that's the whole reason why they hold your credit card.. That's why it makes no sense to arrest them...just charge them and the problem will go away naturally...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'll bet they took the ice cube trays out of the freezer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As I explained, when you check into the room you've already signed an agreement to be charged for all costs incurred, you've already given consent...

Tizalleyman, in normal cases yes, but these amenities could have very well been stolen by some third person. It may be almost impossible to blame it on anybody else, but unless this couple was caught in the act, or as this case found in possesion of the stolen goods, I would think they could deny payment on their credit card.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think this couple probably did this a few times, thus incuring the police call instead of just making them may for it. My wife naggs me when I accidently pack one of the towels, guess I should listen to her more?

I have never packed a hundred dollar bath robe though thinking I would get away with it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Love hotel yukatas are great! I have always taken them and give them as gifts to friends back home on da mainlad, they really think they are cool Japan!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Also always great fun trying to explain what the heck a LOVE hotel is to the friends and family back in the real world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

shampoo set with a brand name, thats too epensive, considering theft yes ... amenities, and sleepers, thats a give away, but bathrobe, towels, coffe maker, tissue box, and mirror thats theft ... DOROBOOO

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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