Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thefts From Hotel Kitchens And Storerooms Shoreham Hotel And The International Inn Washington D.C.

Click on the pictures above to enlarge them.
For more of my posts about being a Hotel Detective in Washington, D.C. look at some of my recent posts by scrolling down below.

When I first went to work at the International Inn we had a problem with thefts from the storeroom.
One morning a coffee shop bus boy from Afghanistan named Kasem told me that a cook was stealing from the storeroom. It was about 6am and we had unlocked the back doors for the kitchen cleaners to take the garbage out.
I went to take a look. Kasem said he had seen the cook take boxes of steaks and shrimps and put them in the trunk of his car.

When I looked I saw a car backed up to the receiving doors and water was leaking out of the bottom of the trunk. It might be the frozen food was melting.
I went and got the Asst. Chief and we told the cook to open his trunk. He stated he would not open the trunk until the Executive Chef(his boss) was at work.
We said fine we will wait.

Sometime passed and the Executive Chef arrived and we told him the story. We went back to the receiving area but the car was gone and so was the cook.
We wrote up a report. It went to the General Manager. The next day he called in the cook and asked him, "Why did you leave?" The cook replied, "I was scared I was going to hurt somebody". He ended up being fired even though he was in a union. He never came back to work at that hotel.

We knew he had a record and had been in prison. He also had threatened Kasem with bodily harm if he told anyone about his stealing. We found out later he had been taking the steaks and shrimps up 14th Street and selling them to a grocery store.

At the Shoreham someone was stealing large quantities of meat from the locked storerooms. On the midnight shift I found one night someone had bent the locked steel bar that ran across the lockers. By bending it far enough they had removed it.
I searched around the receiving area around 6am and found two large briskets of beef carefully hidden. I photographed them and then took them back to our office.
We staked out the receiving area and saw the two kitchen cleaners come to pick up their stash. They were eventually fired. Large quantities of meat had been disappearing. The thefts stopped.

We got a new Security Chief at the Washington Plaza. He was an ex D.C. cop and he was a Mexican American who meant business. He fired almost the whole staff.The old night man was fired for sleeping on the job. He hired some young large football sized guys. He told all of us he wanted all bags checked as the employees were leaving from work. This was something that had been in effect before but not enforced. Everyone was friendly and just let every one pass.
But under the new boss not only packages and bags were checked but women's pocketbooks as well.

We had a cook who had been at the hotel for many many years. No one had ever checked his back pack or bag. But one afternoon when I was not there(I was told the story the next day) this cook was leaving after his shift and the new Director of Security told him to open his bag. The cook said he was not going to open it. There was a short argument and then the new Chief grabbed the bag and the cook fought with him over it. The Chief fought this guy out in the parking lot and had to ask one of the big beefy guys to help him. The guy had just been standing there watching. Finally they subdued the guy and opened the bag and found it full of steaks and shrimps. He was fired.

One of the waitresses asked the cook when he came to get his last check why he had taken the items since as a cook he could eat anything he wanted in the kitchen while he was working. He told her, "I just had a taste for it".
This had been going on for years. The new boss had put a stop to it.