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Preventing Burglaries In Hotel Rooms ~ They Do Happen, Even In Las Vegas

Updated on June 8, 2013

Burglaries Can And Do Happen In Las Vegas, Just Like They Do In Other Tourist Destinations ~

The Las Vegas Convention And Visitors Authority regularly puts out statistical listings about things that are important to the tourism industry. On their latest list, there is a statistic that caught my eye recently. There are over 150,100 hotel rooms in the City of Las Vegas. That's a LOT of hotel rooms!

Unfortunately, that also means that there are a lot of chances for people who are less than honest, whether they be hospitality workers, friends of workers, people who manage to find hotel keys, or others, to commit crimes against visitors. People visiting and staying in hotels in Las Vegas unfortunately DO become victims of burglary and theft from time to time.

Most people really want to believe that when they are on vacation and staying in a well run, respectable hotel that they will be safe there. They want to go to sleep at night knowing that someone probably won't be using an ill-gotten hotel key to enter their room and rob them while they are asleep. They want to be able to go visit the popular tourist spots during the day knowing that the only person entering their hotel room will be the housekeeping staff to clean, if they want the room cleaned.

When most people go out during the day, they normally lock up any valuables in a safe that are going to be left in the room and they take any other valuables along with them for the day. Unfortunately, not everyone is this cautious and sometimes visitors do leave valuable things in the room that can become a temptation, especially for someone who has entered the room in an illicit way.

Whether they get into a hotel guest's room by a door being propped open during the day, or by a less than honest cleaning person or through another hotel employee who has access to keys and has no fear of using that privilege to their advantage for personal gain. By far, most hotel employees are very honest and trustworthy. But as in any other aspect of life, you can't trust everyone.

Some Of Las Vegas' Famous And Infamous Hotels ~

An interesting view of the Paris Hotel, seen through the fountains of Bellagio. The "Eiffel Tower" is the famous landmark, located in front of the Paris Hotel
An interesting view of the Paris Hotel, seen through the fountains of Bellagio. The "Eiffel Tower" is the famous landmark, located in front of the Paris Hotel | Source
Las Vegas hotels seen from the top of the Eiffel Tower. A different view than what you normally get of these hotels!
Las Vegas hotels seen from the top of the Eiffel Tower. A different view than what you normally get of these hotels! | Source

The Differences Between Robberies, Burglaries and Thefts ~

  • Robberies ~ Robberies are an intentional act of breaking in and stealing from someone, whether it is someone's home, hotel room, car, office or place of business. It becomes a robbery when there is either actual violence against the person being robbed. Even a threat of violence is enough to change a criminal charge from burglary to robbery.
  • Burglaries ~ Burglaries are similar to robberies. They involve an intent to break into a place and to rob someone of their belongings. They are usually premeditated. However, there is no actual injury or threat of injury to anyone when a burglary takes place.
  • Theft ~ Theft is the act of taking something that doesn't legally belong to you in a shifty way. It does not involve breaking into anyplace, however, or any type of injury to anyone.

One Infamous Hotel And Other Famous Ones ~

The Golden Gate Hotel on Fremont Street, the oldest hotel in Las Vegas. It's motto is what happens in Vegas started here. The guy in the dress out front? A pretty common "Fremont Street Experience."
The Golden Gate Hotel on Fremont Street, the oldest hotel in Las Vegas. It's motto is what happens in Vegas started here. The guy in the dress out front? A pretty common "Fremont Street Experience." | Source
A neat view of the Bellagio Hotel, as seen from over by the statues of Caesar's Palace.
A neat view of the Bellagio Hotel, as seen from over by the statues of Caesar's Palace. | Source
Caesar's Palace. Fans of the "Hangover" series of movies will recognize this hotel. Famous for the line from the movie "Did Caesar stay here?"
Caesar's Palace. Fans of the "Hangover" series of movies will recognize this hotel. Famous for the line from the movie "Did Caesar stay here?" | Source
The famous "Luxor" Hotel in Las Vegas, pyramid shaped and Egyptian themed.
The famous "Luxor" Hotel in Las Vegas, pyramid shaped and Egyptian themed. | Source

Burglary Happens When People Least Expect It ~

Stories are out there about visitors to Las Vegas who have been here many times before without any incidents.Then, suddenly, they are burglarized in their hotel room. There was a story in the newspaper recently here about a woman who had been visiting Las Vegas for over 30 years, and she normally stayed in one favorite hotel every time. Then she was given a room where the chain lock did not work. (Thank you for clearing that up, VB!) Thinking they could trust this hotel, she and a friend stayed in the room anyway.

She was with this friend and as they slept, they were awakened during the night by a rustling noise. Each woman thought it was the other one. Imagine their surprise when they woke up in the morning to find that they had been robbed of over $1,000 in cash and credit cards from their wallets, chips and unused slot machine cash receipts . This burglary happened in 2008.

The sad fact is, burglaries do happen in hotel rooms all over the city of Las Vegas. In one week in May of 2013, there were 28 separate instances of robberies, burglaries and theft. The largest number, that of burglary, was 17. Robberies happened in six cases, and the other five were labeled as theft. These were only the instances that happened on Las Vegas Boulevard, which is known to visitor's and residents alike as "the strip." There are more of these crimes that happen at hotel properties off the strip.

According to the women who were robbed as they slept in their hotel room, the taking of money and valuables wasn't even the worst part of the experience. The worst part was the feeling knowing that someone had entered their room as they were asleep. It was that creepy, hair-raising feeling of what if that person had worse intentions than that of burglary or robbery?

The safe, secure feeling they had previously thinking that hotels were safe places suddenly became a feeling of "no, these rooms are not totally safe". It gave them a feeling of having been violated in a way that took away their trust of the hotel and of the people there. Things can be replaced. An insecure feeling like this is there to stay.

So, how do you ensure your safety while you're staying in a hotel room? It doesn't have to just be in Las Vegas. This can be in any place that you are staying, whether you are on the road on your way to a destination and simply stopping for a night, or staying in a destination for a length of time, you want to have a secure feeling. When you are in your room for the night, you want to be able to sleep more peacefully and soundly knowing that you are protected against unwanted intruders.

There are several very good portable door lock and alarm systems that can be used on hotel room doors. The major types are a wedge type of alarm that sounds a loud alarm if the door is opened, a portable extra lock that will actually prevent someone from opening the door, and door jamb type devices that are in a stick shaped form.

When you know you will use a portable lock or alarm device for traveling, you want that device to be small and portable. You want it to stow away and store conveniently in your suitcase without taking up much room. Yet, you also want something that will be effective. Whether you choose an alarm type or an actual extra lock, the idea is to have the extra peace of mind that while you are sleeping, no one will enter the room.

Personally, I tend to lean towards the extra door lock devices instead of an alarm. But since they are both small, you could even pack both of them easily in a suitcase and use both of them if you want that extra secure feeling of being awakened if someone even jiggles the door or attempts to enter. You'll know right away with one of these loud, piercing alarm systems so you can call security and deter the person who was trying to enter.

I know as a woman, I would want this extra bit of security for my own peace of mind. I've actually only spent one night alone in a hotel room, that was on a trip from Tennessee to Wisconsin, where I needed to make the drive alone and became tired and stopped for a night. I didn't feel scared since the room I was in had a deadbolt. This was years ago, too, when people often simply trusted whatever security system was in place.

If I were to ever have the need to travel alone today, I would definitely have some type of extra portable door lock or alarm system, or both, along with me just for that extra peace of mind.


A Portable Door Lock System Called "Addalock"

Example Of A GE Wedge Style Door Alarm ~

Would You Feel Safer Staying In A Hotel Room With A Portable Door Lock Or Alarm System?

Would you feel safer staying in a hotel room if you brought along a portable door lock or portable alarm system?

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Comments

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    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR

      KathyH 

      5 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Thanks so much for your great comment, Pamela99! So glad you found this to be helpful! :-)

    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR

      KathyH 

      5 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      That's so interesting, VB, thank you so much for sharing your experience. I can't imagine what an unsettling feeling that must have been to find that someone was in your room! I absolutely think you're right that it had to be an inside job. Thanks so much, and safe travels to you in the future. :-)

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Very good hub and what a good idea to bring along extra security. Your tips are really helpful and I did not know there were so many burgleries in Vegas. Very useful hub.

    • profile image

      VB 

      5 years ago

      The article that you wrote sure sounds like it was my experience. I

      just need to clear up one incident. The deadbolt did work. The door was locked and closed tight. Two women traveling together always make sure the door is locked. The chain lock had a part of it missing. But the deadbolt was working. That is why I am so convinced to this day it was an inside job. Someone had a master key. I have been in touch with 4 other people that have been robbed the same way at same hotel.

    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR

      KathyH 

      5 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Thanks so much, Faith, I'm so glad you found this to be helpful! I didn't want to alarm anyone, but I did want to let people know that this kind of thing can happen (unfortunately!) I know I'll feel better having something along with me (alarm or lock) next time I travel. Thanks so much for the votes and shares, too! Blessings to you, too!

    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR

      KathyH 

      5 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      That's a great idea, kidscrafts! I will have to search to see if there are apps that do that, it wouldn't surprise me if there are! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      Informative article here. Very useful and sad to say, it can happen anywhere and everywhere no doubt!

      Voted up ++ and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 

      5 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      If I can't find anything right away.... I can always add a chair in front of the door ;-) At least the noise will wake me up! I bet you can find some app for any tablet that will detect movement coming from the door :-)

    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR

      KathyH 

      5 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Thanks, kidscrafts! This made me think of bringing along something extra for security, too. Just the thought of someone in the room while you're sleeping creeped me out! Even though the chances of this happening are small, I would rather feel safer. Thanks so much for your great comment!

    • KathyH profile imageAUTHOR

      KathyH 

      5 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      You're welcome, MsDora! I didn't realize that these burglaries do happen even with hotel security in place, reading that in the newspaper made me try to think of ways a person could have extra protection. Thanks so much for commenting! :)

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 

      5 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Very interesting hub, Kathy. I must say that I never thought of bringing an extra device when I go on holidays. I always put the extra chain at the door because I feel more secure.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Voted Up and Useful. A good cautionary article with illustration to help prove your point. Thank you very much.

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