Ocean's 11 ... not!
The perfect crime. How many people have actually gone into lengths into thinking of it? How many times have you contemplated what you would do with X amount of cash? Well, you are not the only one ... that's for sure. Unfortunately, for the perfect crime you need a few factors: Timing, Planning, Trusted Team, Guts, and a FUCKING BRAIN! If you are missing any of them, especially the latter, then go back to your shitty job unless you want to spend the rest of your life passed through the judicial system.
Rant over ... for now at least. The setting takes place in a 5 star hotel in the Mayfair area. I had only been a night manager in the 5 star market for under a year so I was learning the ropes a bit. Our team there was amazing and 12 years down the line, I still remain friends with a few of my ex-colleagues.
It was not a busy night in particular for a Friday evening, so I was mainly in the back office getting the reports out of the way. Suddenly I receive an email from a nearby hotel talking about a particular man who was going around hotels using fake cloned credit cards and then stealing stuff from the rooms. The email was quite descriptive and even had the man's name. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name as it was quite a long time ago, so let's call him Mr Smith (no relation to Agent Smith for you Matrix fans). Now .... let's be honest, how many of you that work in the industry actually remember these emails after reading it? Yep, I'm one of those, I read it, I file it, and most likely forget it within the shift.
So, the shift continues and I finished my first part of the reports. I go outside to join my night auditor and assist her with the remaining check-ins when all of a sudden .... POP! we get a new booking .... and yes, you guessed right, from a Mr "Smith". Now, bare in mind that I am using a commonly used name, but the name back in that night was not a common name so it truly rang alarm bells in my head. The booking was made through a travel agent site such as Booking.com or one of those. Obviously, there was no credit card in the booking so we did not know what to expect. I spoke about the email I had received earlier with my colleague and we developed a code so she could let me know the guy was checking into the hotel. It got quiet again, so I went back to the back office, but I left the door open to keep an eye on the reception desk. The back office, was positioned in a way that it was not really visible to the guests from the reception. Time was going by, and nothing had really happened until all of a sudden a young Asian man comes to the desk to check in. The man says his name and it was the person we were expecting.
The minute I heard the name I had a look at the gentleman, and called the police. My gut feeling was telling me that the name did not really correspond with the look of the man. I explained the situation about the email we received from the other hotel and they told me they were looking for this man for quite a while. Whilst I was on the phone, my colleague came to me to let me know about the person at reception and I told her that I was on it with the police. I told her not to raise any suspicion and let the man check into his room. She did just that, and literally 10 minutes after the man went into his room, the police arrived.
They were undercover officers, so essentially in civilian clothes and they wanted me to show them the CCTV footage to ensure it is the same man before they went up to the room. After checking the footage, it was him ... so they radio'd for some extra muscle in case things got ugly. At that stage, I had a major adrenaline rush so I was like .. let's go kick some ass! Two more officers arrived shortly so I called Security and I left them to it. They all went upstairs and arrested the man in his room. They escorted the man out of the building and luckily he had not caused any damage to the room or tried to take anything. I was really proud at the moment, but it didn't last too long. About an hour later, I received a call from the police saying they went to man's house and had found 15 televisions in his flat which had been stolen from other properties. They took all my details as they may ask me to be a witness when the trial goes to court. That's when it started to sink in. I was like "Shitttt!". If this geezer gets out, he may come out after us and to be honest I began to feel a bit of fear. We all know that sometimes justice is not served, and this guy may want to revenge. Luckily, that never happened, but for a few weeks I had that thought in the back of my mind.
So yeah .... if you plan to do a crime, at least don't always use the same name when you go to a hotel. The industry is quite small and all hotels keep tight communications. Specially when it comes to these type of criminal activities.