Last week I talked about some of the more common items people steal from their hotel and motel rooms. This week it's the most bizarre and unbelievable items people have stolen from hotels.
People have probably been pilfering from hotel/motel rooms for as long as hotels and motels have existed. Whether it's a small souvenir or something bigger, such as a plush robe, theft by guests has cost the hotel industry big bucks over the years.
While most people steal the common items we talked about last week, some don't stop at only stealing the small things. Instead, they go for the gold. This list will probably have you shaking your head in disbelief.
It is very odd to swipe pillows, but hotel guests do. Who would want to own a pillow that likely thousands of others have slept—and drooled—on? Hotel pillows typically cost enough that hotels do care when guests take them home. Some hotels have even started implanting trackable microchips in hotel linens.
If a guest steals a pillow or two, the hotel will usually send him a letter to the effect of, "Hope you're enjoying the pillows," along with an invoice. If the guest returns to stay in that hotel again, some hotel managers let him know what website he can go to and buy hotel linens.
2. Grand piano
A head shaker. Acting as construction workers, the thieves simply wheeled it out the door. It turned out that three people had strolled into the lobby dressed in overalls and had wheeled the grand piano out of the hotel and down the street, never to be seen again.
Apparently it was a while before anyone noticed them missing. When one hotel checked the security footage, they saw a guest walk through a busy reception area struggling under the weight of a television set, yet no one batted an eye.
4. Stuffed boar's head
In the billiard room at the Hotel du Vin in Birmingham, UK, one guest tried to steal a stuffed boar's head. He was caught, much to his chagrin and embarrassment. A few weeks later, some of his friends came back and bought the object from the hotel as a wedding present for him. The hotel donated the money to charity.
A couple staying at an American Holiday Inn asked for a room near the parking lot. Next, they emptied the entire contents of the hotel room into a conveniently located U-Haul. They stole the bed, the furniture—everything that wasn't (and likely some things that were) nailed down.
Guests did the same thing at a Forte Group hotel in Bath, UK. They parked their vehicle underneath the room's window and passed the things through. The carpet, bedding, tea pot, and toilet seat were missing when they left. Yes, even the toilet seat!
6. Hotels offered guests amnesty
According to The New York Times, New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel announced on Facebook in 2012 that it was launching an amnesty campaign directed toward those who had stolen or "accidentally packed" items from the hotel. They promised forgiveness to those who returned the stuff.
A psychotherapist who lives in San Diego returned a silver coffee pot to the hotel with a note explaining that her mother and father had a one night honeymoon at the hotel in 1938. They didn't have much money and that one night at the Waldorf was a very big deal for them. She went on to say that her father stole the silver coffee pot and every year on their anniversary, he took it out and served coffee in it.
7. Sex toys
Yes, you read that right—sex toys stolen from a hotel room. The Residence in Bath, UK, used to rent sex toys to guests, no available information on hygiene or sanitizing. Guests often stole the toys, and they were almost always caught. A hotel staff member said he would call them up to explain that they had been caught. A rather long silence would inevitably follow.
If you've ever stayed at one of the economy type motel chains, you know glamour isn't what they offer. Televisions and hairdryers are often nailed to the wall to prevent theft. But it seems that guests found other things to steal. The no-frills hotel chains reported that thousands of guests stole carpeting, mirrors, light fittings, and yes, even the shower curtains.
9. Room number
Who in the world would want to steal the room number from the door of their hotel room? Someone staying at the Franklin Hotel in Knightsbridge, UK, apparently. The guest unscrewed the number from the door and made off with it. The hotel general manager said no one notice it missing until they found the next guest wandering up and down the hallway looking for his room.
Mayfair is an affluent area in the West End of London, and the four-star Chesterfield Hotel is a popular spot to stay in the area. Someone stole two busts from outside the hotel's entrance. It's almost unbelievable that the person who stole them got away with it. Even stranger, the busts were returned the following morning in the back of a cab. [sounds like a college fraternity prank]
Luxury hotels typically spend a fortune on fresh flowers to make the lobby impressive. And people love the flowers. They love them so much that they steal them. Again, it's hard to imagine someone just walking out of a hotel with one of those huge floral displays. It looks like the hotel employees need to be a bit more watchful.
12. Pet dog
What kind of person would steal someone else's pet? At one hotel, it was reported that guests stole the hotel owner's dog. There isn't any information on whether the owner recovered his pet. Hopefully, it was a case of the dog getting out one day and eventually finding his way back home.
13. Famous artwork
At Hong Kong's W Hotel, a guest stole a piece of Andy Warhol artwork worth $300,000 which was never recovered. In addition, guests at Hong Kong's Shangri-La stole chandeliers, and someone took an entire minibar from the old Parkroyal in Kuala Lumpur. At the old Crowne Plaza in Bangkok, guests frequently stole showerheads.
A guest at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., stole an entire marble fireplace. There are no details regarding how he got it out of the hotel, but he really upped the ante when it comes to being an audacious thief.
16. Concorde model
A housekeeper at a Best Western hotel reported a seriously strange theft. The guest swiped a 12-foot model of the Concorde, the British-French turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner that operated until 2003. How on earth did no one notice that on its way out?