When you’re staying at a hotel, sometimes you just can’t resist keeping the balcony door open. Maybe you’re facing the ocean and want the air and sound to waft into your room. Maybe you have no control of the thermostat (psst! This might help) and keeping the balcony door open is the only way to get the room warmer or cooler. Besides, you’re not on the 1st floor, so you’re perfectly safe from thieves, right?
Well, maybe not so much…
Here are some headlines and news videos regarding hotel thefts that happened when the thief or thieves entered through an open/unlocked balcony door:
- Recent thefts – entering by 2nd and third floor balconies (Trip Advisor)
- Seeking a Pilfer-Proof Room (New York Times)
- Thief jumps off balcony after stealing items on wild spring break night (Fox 4 Now, via YouTube)
- Police: Alleged Beer Thieves Arrested After Scaling Down 10 Story OC Hotel (CBS Los Angeles)
- Drunk thief tells woman to strip before robbing her (Emirates 24/7)
And if you want some visual proof of how easily and quickly it can happen…
NSFW Warning – the first video has some adult language
What can you do to prevent this?
- Even before you get yourself settled, if your room has a balcony, check it to see it could be easily accessed by someone coming in from the outside – either from a room next door, directly above or below you, or even a tree or drainpipe that someone could climb to get access. If that’s the case, it’d probably be smart to get a different room.
- It might be a no brainer, but don’t keep your balcony door open. Keep it closed and locked to help prevent thieves from entering through the balcony door.
- When you return to your hotel room, make sure the balcony door is still locked. Housekeeping might have been on the balcony to clean and forgotten to lock the door.
- Keep your valuables out of sight, especially when you’re not in the room. It’s like people who leave their camera in their rental car and someone smashes the car window to steal it. Leaving your laptop on the desk is an invitation for a person to want to take it. That being said, remember how easy it is to break into a hotel safe. So you may want to consider something like this, instead.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary