Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Robbery at the Clarion Hotel
When you see this man above, RUN!!!!
He is a thief. He recently pulled off a robbery at the Clarion Hotel where he relieved two American tourists of their laptop, money, passport and other belongings. The most interesting part of the whole thing is that the hotel let him in the room. Can you imagine?
It seems that Ariel, the aboved pictured thief, had befriended these Americans. Ariel is a very likeable fellow. He is what I referred to in earlier posts about the Dominican buggarons who can sell sand to other Dominicans. He slipped one of the electronic door keys in his pocket. Made up some rouse to get back to the hotel when he knew the Americans would not be there. Now, here is where it gets good. The electronic key didn't work, so Ariel strolled casually down to the front-desk and had them re-swipe the key so that he could get in the room. (Now, you might ask why wasn't the money and passport and other items in the safe? That is for another entry.)
How do we know all of this? Because it was all caught on video. Of course the Americans weren't supposed to see this tape, but an incompetent security guard showed it to them by mistake. The general manager of the hotel knows that it is the hotel's fault. His response was, and I'm paraphrasing here, was that yes, the hotel "made a mistake," but the best they could do was a free night. Now, if the Americans decided to sue in the DR, good luck. They shouldn't waste their time in the States either, because they were not "owned" by Choice Hotels, but are just a franchisee.
Now, let me enlighten the Dominican traveler. The Dominican tactic is to stall. You have to leave the country eventually. And they know that once you get back to the States you will forget all about it. The difference is that this was an American company and you can go and sue them in the States and be made whole for the amazing incompetence of the staff allowing a criminal to freely go in and steal whatever he wants.
The Americans (who were robbed) are also upset with an American that lives here who initally helped them after the robbery, but then stopped returning their calls and generally just disappeared. After the robbery one of the Americans (who was robbed) called Ariel. He was distraught, he didn't "know why he did this." The American (who lives here) then tried to broker a deal with Ariel where he would bring their things back. Ariel, nor the American who lives here showed up, and they were never able to get in touch with either of them again. Now to the Americans who were robbed it seemed very strange and they couldn't help but wonder if maybe the American who lived here purchased some of their things from Ariel. I told them that I don't believe that to be the case, but of course when you don't return calls and generally disappear, suspicions are raised.
More on this story as it becomes available. Stay tuned!
(I have spoken to the American who lives here and got his side of the story. He of course has a different take on the matter. And that is where we will leave it!)