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theft in hotels

Theft in Hotels. Which Items Are Stolen the Most?

Wellness Heaven has asked 1,376 hotel managers about theft in hotels and which items are most commonly stolen. Stealing soaps or pens seems harmless for many hotel guests, however, some are so bold that they carry TVs, pianos, mattresses or even stuffed animals out of the hotel.

Russian tourists stole 35 kilograms of food from a Turkish hotel, including apples, candies, dried fruits, soft drinks, and even wrapped butter in foil. 

The main result of the study: towels and bathrobes are stolen the most – perhaps as a goodie for the next spa break? Hangers, pens, and cosmetics closely follow these two objects of desire.

In addition to these “ordinary” items, there are several spectacular outliers that suggest a brisk imagination of the delinquents:

  • Bathroom fixtures, the head of a rain shower, a hydromassage shower, a toilet seat, a drainpipe or even an entire sink
  • Grand piano
  • Room Numbers
  • Stuffed Hunting Trophies
  • Sauna Benches
  • HiFi System
  • Flowers

When classifying the delinquents by nationality, a different picture emerges. It turns out, for example, that German and British hotel guests follow a rather boring theft behavior: In addition to towels and bathrobes, primarily cosmetics and toiletries are in the focus.

In contrast, Austrians snitch in a more pleasure-oriented way: dishes and coffee machines appear high up in their theft ranking. It seems they cannot get enough to satisfy their thirst for coffee. For US Americans, pillows and batteries appear as the prime objects of desire.

Italians prefer wine glasses as a hotel souvenir, while the hair dryer ranks high up in the Swiss ranking. On the other hand, the French steal more spectacularly: they represent the nation that is attracted mainly to TV sets and remote controls.

Dutch hotel guests see in their souvenirs above all the practical benefits: Their favorites include light bulbs and toilet paper.

theft in hotels

Guests of 5-star hotels prefer expensive items: TVs & mattresses

A total of 740 hoteliers from 4-star hotels and 636 from 5-star hotels were surveyed to determine the behavior of thieves depending on their wealth. As it turns out, “Greed is good” seems to be a reliable motto especially for the well-heeled 5-star clientele.

The probability of tablet computers being stolen in 5-star hotels, is 6 times higher in comparison to the 4-star segment. Similarly, artworks are popular objects of desire in luxury hotels (4.3 x higher theft probability). TV sets (4.9 x) and mattresses (5.4 x) are also being stolen a lot more frequently in 5-star hotels. This is quite astonishing: 11.8% of 5-star hotel managers mourn the loss of mattresses, while only 2.2% of 4-star hotels seem to be affected. In total, 91 hoteliers indicate the theft of mattresses in our survey, so at least that many were stolen in their hotels.

4-star hotel guests are content with less spectacular gifts: towels and hangers tend to be in higher demand than in 5-star hotels. The typical 4-star hotel guest is especially fond of practical items such as batteries and remote controls (theft probability 2.8 and 4.4 x higher, respectively).

Theft in Hotels. Trends

Comparing data with our 2019 survey on theft in hotels, “Mini Fridges” have emerged as a new item of desire. 3.3% of surveyed hoteliers indicate theft of this device, leaving the mini bar not only empty, but also warm. Not cool! The theft of mini fridges is 2.5 x more probable in 4-star hotels.

In comparison with 2019, several items of theft are on the rise: coffee makers (6.9% -> 11.4%), mattresses (4.2% -> 6.6%) and tablet computers (12.0% -> 18.3%) have increased significantly. On the other hand, phones (4.8% -> 3.4%), cutlery (33.6% -> 27.5%) and lamps (4.3% -> 4.1%) have decreased in theft probability.


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