BAG STOLEN FROM HOTEL WHILST IN HOTEL CARE (17 June 2007)
We left our luggage in the care of the security guard of the hotel yesterday (17 June 2007) as we were going to the Tarabuca Market and taking a night bus to Santa Cruz that evening.
When we returned to collect our luggage we paid for the hotel and then realised that one of our backpacks had disappeared. The staff member present told us that we had all our bags back and so requested that we needed to speak to the owner of the hotel since he speaks English.
We presume that the owner lives some distance away because we waited almost an hour before he arrived by which time we had missed our bus which we had already paid for. The owner told us that we had not left our bag in the hotel because that is what the security guard had told him and that we could have brought it to the market and lost it there. The bag is bright red weighs 8kg and had been packed in the morning with several items removed from it for use during the day. The bag was also padlocked before being handed to the guard we had the key with us and we did a full room check prior to leaving to ensure no items had been left behind. The owner insisted we open our large packs to prove to him that the missing bag was not inside.
The owner told us that it was ´impossible´ that the bag could have been taken from the hotel and that nothing had ever been taken from his place and that he fully trusts the man at security. The owner then went through the items that were taken and ridiculed us that no one would have any value for such personal items however we pointed out that the bag was padlocked. The total value in the bag adds to about 600$ but is more of personal value since a travel diary of 8months as well as personal gifts etc were taken.
Although the owner speaks very good English he refused to come to the police station with us and told us that the issue was between us and his security guard and he bore no responsibility. He continued to insist that the bag had been lost by us and the security guard told us that money and phone he left near the bags was not touched.
The owner continually said we should go to the police and report the items as ´lost´ we refused to accept that we had any negligence in the matter and that the items were left in the morning in the care of the hotel. Eventually we managed to file a report with the police that the bag was stolen from the hotel (accompanied by the security guard who said that we lost it).
In conclusion, we felt insulted by the owner of the hotel since we were not negligent and he failed to take any responsibility. He refused to assist in sorting the matter out in a helpful way given his language skills, he still charged us fully for our stay and did not even recompense the 25$ lost since we could no longer catch our night bus. At the end of the evening he watched us walk out of his hotel knowing that we would have to go and look for alternative accommodation without even an offer to put us up for the additional night we now had to stay in Sucre.