A hotel guest has gone viral after catching housekeeping staff snooping through his belongings.
Arturo Brunello said he was vacationing in Cancun, Mexico when he filmed the hotel worker. He used iSentry, an app that turns a computer’s web camera into a motion-detecting security system, to keep tabs on his hotel room. Brunello’s video has racked up 3.2 million views on TikTok since its October 4 release.
“Here you can see the housekeeping staff helping themselves to a beer from our fridge,” said a voiceover that played footage of the employee enjoying the room as if it were his own.
Then the worker opened the room safe and looked inside.
“Why are you rummaging through our drawers? Brunello questioned as the clerk sifted through layers of clothing.
“My bags?” added his voiceover. The staff member was seen opening a backpack and rummaging inside.
“Be careful when traveling,” Brunello warned viewers. “It was my first time installing a camera…it’s alarming to me.”
The employee did not steal any items other than the beer, Brunello said. He reported the incident to hotel management, who “took care of him very well” and immediately fired the member of staff.
Hotels generally don’t offer insurance policies that would protect the theft of a guest’s personal belongings, according to The Reeves Legal Group, a California-based personal injury law firm. Most US states have “innkeeper laws,” which limit hotel liability for theft from rooms, damage to cars in parking lots, and injury to guests. The hotel’s liability is limited even in the event of theft of items from the room safe.
Brunello said iSentry sent him email notifications as soon as it detected motion, recommending the app as “10/10” to its audience.
Vadim Zaliva is the CEO of Codeminders, which developed iSentry. In addition to protecting users from theft, the app is often used to monitor pet activity and keep tabs on personal property in a shared space, he said. Newsweek.
“In particular, we’ve heard that some small businesses use it in their storage room, sometimes combined with the office, to prevent potential employee theft,” Zaliva said.
The app was developed in Ukraine, where Codeminders employees continue to work during the Russian-Ukrainian war.
Anxious TikTok viewers thanked Brunello for his safety tip and shared their own protective measures.
“The exact reason I don’t allow housekeepers in the room during my stay,” said one comment with 4,500 likes.
Another viewer said, “That’s why I hardly take anything out of my case and always keep my padlock on it and always travel with the keys.”
“I always bring the bare minimum, no jewelry and everything expensive is in my purse…but a camera is genius,” commented a third viewer.
Newsweek contacted Brunello for comment.