With the hard work and collaborative efforts of one dedicated individual, the community, local bed and breakfast (B&B) operators, insurance brokers, local radio, social media and the SAPS, an alleged thief targeting guest houses in Springtime, KZN has been arrested.
The accused has been operating in the KZN area since 2011, hitting almost 70 establishments in a four year period. His modus operandi? To check into a B&B as a valid guest under the guise of a few aliases and a number of vehicle registration kits, often making upfront payments. It is at this point that unwitting hosts let their guard down and become vulnerable to the thief’s next move. Items such as televisions and other electronics are then removed from his own room, and in some cases, other rooms at the establishment and then sold online.
Unfortunately, whilst not always as organised or malicious, this type of incident is by no means isolated or limited to a few individual career criminals. In fact, B&B operators can, by the nature of the business model, be relatively soft targets. Here networking and communication within the local industry and community is essential.
Here’s how to avoid becoming a victim to theft:
- Personally ‘meet and greet’ each guest and integrate security procedures into the check-in process – this is ultimately for the guest and other guests’ safety whilst on the premises.
- Make an effort to identify the guest using a registration or check-in process that records his/her details. Check an identity document, driver’s licence or passport against the details entered.
- Accept pre-payment in the form of a deposit and check the details on the credit or debit card against the details entered.
- Secure valuable electronics using an appropriate lock or security mechanism such as security cables, wall mount brackets or even data dot tracking security.
- Ensure that guests do not have access to other rooms, especially when rooms are being serviced in the mornings.
- Take all necessary precautions to ensure that keys and remotes are not copied, stolen or accessible to other guests on the premises.
- Comprehensive cover is a non-negotiable – make sure you have insurance against stolen goods (for you and your guests) as well as lost keys and remotes.
To find out more, watch this clip
Also visit: http://www.bnbsure.co.za/