Thieves target Norwegian hotels
March 29, 2010
Several hotels in Norway have been the targets of theft in recent weeks and police suspect the crime wave involves bands of highly mobile thieves, possibly from eastern Europe, who travel between various police districts. That makes it harder for them to catch.
In Oslo, both the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel and the posh Hotel Continental have received reports of thefts from guests’ hotel rooms, reports newspaper Aftenposten. The Radisson, one of Oslo’s few high-rise buildings, has closed its outdoor glass elevator as a security measure and is using only one main entrance to the hotel, in an effort to better monitor those going in and out.
The hotel, with 673 rooms, is the largest in Norway. Items were stolen from several of its rooms during the past week, reports Aftenposten.
“We have seen high criminal activity recently,” Hilde Charlotte Solheim of hotel association HSH told Aftenposten. Employers’ organization NHO Reiseliv is working closely with police after the reception areas of five Oslo hotels were robbed in a recent weeks.
“We’re offering special training to hotel personnel to help them avoid unwanted incidents,” said Invild Eriksen of NHO Oslo og Akershus.
The room break-ins have been occurring mostly in the late afternoon or early evening. Bjørn Åge Hansen of Oslo’s central police station told Aftenposten that “observations” shared with the police “can suggest eastern Europeans” are involved, “but we have no basis from which to determine any specific nationality.”
Tarjei Hellebust of the Radisson Blu Plaza said the thefts constitute “a whole new trend.” He said the thieves have been “very active … and this is something we’re doing all we can to fight.”