Tourist captures “disturbing” behavior of hotel staff on hidden camera

A hotel guest has gone viral after catching housekeeping staff snooping through his personal belongings.

Arturo Brunello said he was on vacation in Cancun, Mexico, when he caught the hotel clerk on camera. He used iSentry, an app that turns a computer’s webcam into a motion-detecting security system, to monitor his hotel room. Brunello’s video has garnered 3.2 million views on TikTok since it appeared on October 4.

“Here, you can see the housekeeping staff helping themselves to a beer from our fridge,” said a voice over the video of the employee enjoying the room as if it were his own.

The worker then opened the room’s safe and looked inside.

“Why are you going through our drawers?” Brunello questioned as the clerk sifted through the clothes.

“My bags?” added his voice. The staff member was seen opening a backpack and rummaging inside.

“Be careful when you travel,” Brunello warned viewers. “This was the first time I set up a camera…that’s a concern for me.”

The employee did not steal any items other than the beer, Brunello said. He reported the incident to hotel management, who “took very good care of him” and immediately fired the staff member.

Hotels generally do not offer insurance policies that will protect against the theft of a guest’s personal belongings, according to The Reeves Law Group, a California-based personal injury law firm. Most US states have “hotelier laws,” which limit hotels’ liability for theft from rooms, damage to cars in parking lots, and injuries to guests. The hotel’s liability is limited even when items are stolen from the room safe.

Here, a woman applies beauty care products in her hotel room on March 8, 2022 in Montgomery, Alabama. A hotel guest has gone viral after catching housekeeping staff snooping through his personal belongings in Cancun, Mexico.
Brandon Bell / Staff/Getty Images North America

Brunello said iSentry sent him email alerts as soon as it detected traffic, recommending the app as a “10/10” to his audience.

Vadim Zaliva is the CEO of Codeminders, which developed iSentry. In addition to protecting users from theft, the app is often used to track pet activity and monitor personal property in a shared space, he said. Newsweek.

“Specifically, we’ve heard from some small businesses using it in their warehouse sometimes in conjunction with the office to prevent potential employee theft,” Zaliva said.

The app was developed in Ukraine, where Codeminders employees continue to work during the Russia-Ukraine war.

Concerned TikTok viewers thanked Brunello for his safety advice and shared their own protective measures.

“The exact reason I don’t allow cleaners in the room while I’m staying,” said one comment with 4,500 likes.

Another viewer said: “That’s why I never take anything out of my case and always keep my lock on it and always travel with the keys.”

“I always bring the bare minimum, no jewelry and everything expensive in my purse with me…but the camera is genius,” commented a third viewer.

Newsweek Brunello has been contacted for comment.

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