Sleeping Rio Las Vegas Guests Report Being Burglarized

Sleeping Rio Las Vegas Guests Report Being Burglarized

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It goes without saying that a lot of strange stuff happens in Las Vegas, and sometimes you have to be skeptical of claims. However, multiple people have now reported that they’ve been burglarized at the Rio Las Vegas (now part of World of Hyatt) while they were asleep in their room.

Strange theft stories at the Rio Las Vegas

KTNV Las Vegas has the story of how in recent weeks, two sets of guests have reported being burglarized while sleeping in their room at the Rio Las Vegas.

One couple claimed that they had $6,000 worth of items stolen while they were asleep, including $1,400 in cash, and they didn’t hear a thing:

“The feeling of being violated while we were sleeping is still kind of haunting me. We were left with no debit cards, no credit cards, no telephone. We were literally three feet away from them.”

In another incident, two men from Florida were sharing a room at the Rio Las Vegas, and claim they had around $10,000 in belongings stolen from their room while they were asleep:

“I didn’t hear a thing. Thank God that we didn’t wake up because maybe it would be worse. I noticed that the door was left probably a foot wide open and that’s when we started looking for all of our stuff. It’s insane.”

The hotel told both sets of guests that they had no leads regarding what happened, as the hotel doesn’t have security cameras in the hallways. The hotel also suggested that perhaps the guests left their doors open, and that’s why they were robbed. Here’s the statement the hotel released:

“We can confirm there was an incident at the resort, but the details are still being investigated. The safety and security of our guests remain the resort’s top priority. We have no further comment at this time.”

Rio Las Vegas guest room

This is incredibly strange…

Hotel theft is pretty common around the globe — in some cases the culprits may be hotel employees, in some cases they may be hotel guests, and in other cases they may just be outsiders entering the hotel with bad intentions.

We should never assume that we’re 100% safe in hotels, and we should take precautions. The single most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your belongings is to always use the deadbolt when you’re in the room. Furthermore, place valuables in the safe, though don’t assume that makes them 100% safe, since there could still be an inside job whereby the safe is robbed (but you’re still better off putting things in a safe than not).

All that being said, I find this situation at the Rio Las Vegas to be particularly unusual. Here are a few thoughts, and I’m going to assume that things happened the way the parties are claiming:

  • I assume the guests weren’t using their deadbolts, but do doors at the Rio Las Vegas have an issue whereby they don’t automatically close properly, and where they could appear to be closed, but aren’t?
  • Generally I’d expect someone to try to rob a hotel room while it’s unoccupied, and not while people are asleep, which is infinitely more risky in terms of getting caught, especially since there’s often no easy or quick escape from a hotel
  • I’m a pretty deep sleeper, but I feel like I would wake up if someone opened my hotel room door, presumably used light, and then rummaged through the room looking for things to steal
  • It wasn’t just cash and credit cards being stolen, but in the case of one of these incidents, pool cues were stolen; you’d think there would be video footage of this somewhere in the hotel, even if not in a hallway
  • Something like this generally sounds like it would be an inside job, but if it were an inside job, you’d assume people would burglarize a room when they know it isn’t occupied, rather than when it is
What’s going on at the Rio Las Vegas?

Bottom line

While I imagine there’s theft at Las Vegas hotels all the time, there have been two recent reports of guests being burglarized at the Rio Las Vegas while they were asleep in their rooms. This is exceedingly weird, and a good reminder to always deadbolt your door when you’re in the room.

What do you make of this situation?

Conversations (30)
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  1. Lane Drifter Guest

    Vegas is a place where people overdo it on a nightly basis. People are quick to say " I can't imagine I wouldn't wake up..." But what you might do when intoxicated is not the same as sober. I think it likely that bad actors observe people carefully in the casinos and spot the easy targets. As the post says, lock up your crap and use the deadbolt.

    And try to be situationally aware when you have overindulged.

  2. TMT Guest

    I know that you're a travel site rather than a highbrow publication, but the word that you're looking for is "burgled". "Burglar" or "burglary" are already nouns; you need to use the existing associated verb rather than make up a new one. Have you heard of anyone complaining that their connectionizing flight in Atlanta got cancelized?

    1. Celes Guest

      Standard English since the nineteenth century: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burglarize

  3. Mobo Guest

    Did you not hear about the Paris Casino robberies?

    Deadbolts don’t stop these guys. They are easily defeated. The Paris robber was using a screwdriver to defeat them.

    Most casino hotels don’t have cameras in the guest room hallways.

  4. LOVETRAVELLING New Member

    They do not have Safe/Locker in the Rooms? Learn to use the Safes. If no Safe/Locker, Find another Place. By the way, RIO has always sucked!

    1. Creditcrunch Diamond

      Unfortunately cracking hotel safes has become widespread with people posting videos on social media with hacks, tips and tricks including engineer master codes etc, same with how to overcome and open hotel doors. You have to be inventive with hiding things and have photocopies of travel documents, no need to carry large amounts of cash and be sensible about what valuable's you take with you on travels, keep them to a minimum.

  5. Cousin Richard Guest

    Water glass perched on top of the door handle.

    Old spy trick.

  6. Bob Guest

    I stayed in a Mandalay suite once. Luckily I was in the room at the time when a couple walked right in with their own key card since front desk gave them one. I was furious and went right to the front desk manager. Her reply was that she was sorry and assured me(which means she has no clue) this doesn't happen often and I said, often? So you mean this has happened before and...

    I stayed in a Mandalay suite once. Luckily I was in the room at the time when a couple walked right in with their own key card since front desk gave them one. I was furious and went right to the front desk manager. Her reply was that she was sorry and assured me(which means she has no clue) this doesn't happen often and I said, often? So you mean this has happened before and probably several times. She neither confirmed nor denied. So yeah hoyrl security is the pits. With all the casino surveillance you think they're would be better cameras in the hallway.

  7. Dale Guest

    Sounds like a tag team scammers. Their word against the hotels. Opportunity seekers.

  8. Steve M Guest

    Rubber door stop will cost you a buck.
    If you are in your room sleeping. Or whatever.

    1. Joe Guest

      Seems odd and seems like they had to have been targeted. You need a key card to get on the elevator to those specific floors. If they didn't have a card for the door then whay, they tried every door until they got one opened? With past shootings in vegas and heightened security everywhere especially in casinos how do you not have cameras in hallways and elevators?

  9. Sco Guest

    Seems like the best way to stay at El Rio might be to check-in and checkout via the Hyatt app and not actually spend the night there.....

  10. John doe Guest

    Okay so if you enter through the fire escapes you by pass the security measures then they push on the frame work of the very worn out doors to the rooms and the doors open up! I was in the Clark county detention center once and over heard a bunch of crack heads talking about it!

  11. Kevin Guest

    Just had a Hyatt stay here this week and wondered why they were checking keys before entering the elevators with a security booth setup in the hallway in the evening. They asked you to tap the key before proceeding. Likely in response to this. During the day however no checks were done.

    1. Tonei Glavinic Guest

      I’ve seen this at a bunch of casino hotels in both Vegas and Atlantic City

  12. Alex Guest

    If I had $1,400 in cash I wouldn’t be staying at a shithole like The Rio.

  13. BookLvr Diamond

    SUPER weird--not that there would be hotel theft, but that there would be hotel thefts in occupied rooms at night, while people are sleeping. (And even that the thief would have been confident that people would be sleeping, as some people keep odd hours in Vegas.)

    I don't love the hotel's response to the guests as reported. If more than one room has been robbed at night, on separate nights, the response shouldn't be to...

    SUPER weird--not that there would be hotel theft, but that there would be hotel thefts in occupied rooms at night, while people are sleeping. (And even that the thief would have been confident that people would be sleeping, as some people keep odd hours in Vegas.)

    I don't love the hotel's response to the guests as reported. If more than one room has been robbed at night, on separate nights, the response shouldn't be to blame the guests. It should be to look at their own security protocols and their own personnel, including outside contractors. The property must realize that this is terrible publicity and they should want to get to the bottom of it.

    I have stayed at the Rio three times--a convention we sometimes like to attend is held there--though not since the recent refurbishment. I agree with the security expert quoted in the article that there is a balance which needs to be struck between security and guest privacy. That being said, I wonder if people need a key card to access guest room floors. I wonder if there are security cameras in the elevators. I also wonder how the victims are selected. Surely a thief isn't trying each and every room door?

  14. AinthePNW Guest

    This happened to me in San Jose CR about 15 years ago at a Courtyard by Marriott. We were heading back to the US after a 3 week backpacking ish trip, someone got in our room took my backpack, wallet, and my friends backpack. Thankfully I had my passport in the safe along with some other cash/debit/credit cards. My friend got his whole wallet and passport stolen. The hotel not only blamed us but reported...

    This happened to me in San Jose CR about 15 years ago at a Courtyard by Marriott. We were heading back to the US after a 3 week backpacking ish trip, someone got in our room took my backpack, wallet, and my friends backpack. Thankfully I had my passport in the safe along with some other cash/debit/credit cards. My friend got his whole wallet and passport stolen. The hotel not only blamed us but reported to the police that we faked the whole thing to get some sort of compensation from the hotel. Complete bs. I had never been so glad to have a plane take off later that day - I haven’t been back to CR since then.

  15. MoreSun Guest

    Didn’t know door stop alarms were a thing, thanks all who mentioned them! Beats the crap out of hoping a chair makes enough noise to wake me up.

    And 100% on how easy it is to get around hotel locks, a master key gets around the deadbolt and a bent wire easily flips the flip lock (stayed at a new hotel whose flip locks were too sensitive and kept throwing themselves when the door...

    Didn’t know door stop alarms were a thing, thanks all who mentioned them! Beats the crap out of hoping a chair makes enough noise to wake me up.

    And 100% on how easy it is to get around hotel locks, a master key gets around the deadbolt and a bent wire easily flips the flip lock (stayed at a new hotel whose flip locks were too sensitive and kept throwing themselves when the door closed, security got that thing opened in like 2 seconds flat with a bent wire hanger).

    Such a creepy story.

  16. Mushu_Pork Guest

    There is a hook that they put under the hotel door to open the handle. Not hard to find with a google search.

  17. Andrew M Guest

    I assume the risks of accessing a room while the occupants are sleeping is outweighed by the much higher likelihood of finding a wallet and other high value items that would probably be out of the room during the day. Still seems very risky though.

    1. Antwerp Guest

      Given my own experience with this you are most likely correct in the risk reward assessment. In my case it was clearly a quick entry and grab scheme that was seconds at most. What they probably bank on is the 10-15 seconds to recognize what’s happening IF you wake up and then as they run another 15-30 seconds for you to grab pants on and try to catch up while still half asleep. In my...

      Given my own experience with this you are most likely correct in the risk reward assessment. In my case it was clearly a quick entry and grab scheme that was seconds at most. What they probably bank on is the 10-15 seconds to recognize what’s happening IF you wake up and then as they run another 15-30 seconds for you to grab pants on and try to catch up while still half asleep. In my case it was down the emergency exit stairs and directly out a door to the outside and a waiting car.

      The Rio, a much bigger hotel, I imagine they can scurry though a number of access points and vanish inside the hotel quickly.

  18. JetAway Guest

    I wouldn't assume things happened the way the parties are claiming.

    1. AinthePNW Guest

      I disagree, I think it likely happened. This has happened to me before. Although it wasn’t as much in valuables (maybe $500-1k total in electronics and cash), but it was a friends passport that also got stolen which was the much bigger deal.

  19. Tony Guest

    These people actually slept at Rio on their mattress runs for Hyatt Globalist status? :)

  20. Antwerp Guest

    A few years back this happened to me at a Marriott in Dallas. I forgot to deadbolt my door. But it was closed tightly. I’m a deep sleeper but in the middle of the night I woke up to light from the hallway coming in the room. I jumped up and ran out to see a woman running with my briefcase through the emergency staircase doors. By the time I could catch up she was...

    A few years back this happened to me at a Marriott in Dallas. I forgot to deadbolt my door. But it was closed tightly. I’m a deep sleeper but in the middle of the night I woke up to light from the hallway coming in the room. I jumped up and ran out to see a woman running with my briefcase through the emergency staircase doors. By the time I could catch up she was in a waiting car and gone. The hotel and police identified her as a guest through cameras and right before she had been at the unattended front desk standing around it. She was never apprehended. My laptop was the only thing of value stolen. It was determined that she somehow had gotten a master key or a key to my room - but the hotel refused to accept it was an inside job.

    Given my experience I always deadbolt my door. But the reality is I have also seen security open these in a matter of seconds when needed.

  21. VegasVic Guest

    Newsflash. Vegas casino security exists to protect the assets of the HOUSE, not the customer.

  22. Jeff Guest

    also possible they were targeted, drugged, then followed (assisted) into the room. Very common in other countries.

  23. JK Guest

    My first thought is to download automatic log from the door (assuming it is a lock accessed with a keycard / NFC chip as most are). This would identify when the door was opened and what card opened it, who programmed the card etc.

    There are lock mechanisms you can buy which add another layer or protection on top of the deadbolt, a lot of pilots and FAs use them to give extra security. If anyone travels a lot they might want to look at one of these options also.

  24. Creditcrunch Diamond

    Very strange indeed, I assume the lifts and stairs are covered by cctv, makes you wonder if the system was tampered with.

    I always travel with a door stop alarm, wedged under the door if anyone tries to push it out you will know about it.

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Sco Guest

Seems like the best way to stay at El Rio might be to check-in and checkout via the Hyatt app and not actually spend the night there.....

1
VegasVic Guest

Newsflash. Vegas casino security exists to protect the assets of the HOUSE, not the customer.

1
Creditcrunch Diamond

Very strange indeed, I assume the lifts and stairs are covered by cctv, makes you wonder if the system was tampered with. I always travel with a door stop alarm, wedged under the door if anyone tries to push it out you will know about it.

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