I consider myself a road warrior lately, going to conference after conference and traveling to Sacramento and Denver in a 2-week period.  The worst place I have ever stayed is the Westin at Westminster Colorado. That is saying something, since I like to frequent Motel 6’s when I travel with my dogs. I will give the Westin this; they have better towels and beds. But for the amount of money they charge, I could have bought a whole new bathroom for my house.  As they have told me over & over, I was a victim at their establishment.

They allowed my wallet with all my credit cards to be stolen. I had $500 plus in it, plus who knows what. You should never have to be in a strange place with no money and no help, but that is what I experienced at the Westin. To top it off, they never apologized. They said that they would turn it over to their insurance company, AND MAYBE something would happen. They have no control over that. They kept asking me to talk to one person after another, and they parroted that they were “sorry I was a victim”. Logic to me is that they should be responsible. It happened at their very expensive hotel that I was also staying at. If I AM a victim, shouldn’t the Westminster Westin also be a victim? How do I give myself a position of power in this situation?

I had a representative of Westin say; “Well you could have been robbed at Macy’s” they wouldn’t be responsible. That brings up a very important question: are the hotels that you base your life out of while you are on the road responsible for what happens under their roof?”

I had my wallet under the table of my display, in the hallway of the Westin, at the ISSSEEM conference. A man that was somehow allowed into the hotel was sitting at my chair looking under the table when I came out of the bathroom. Intuitive that I am, I knew immediately that he was robbing from me. He looked at me, sat up with something in his hand by his waist, did a three-quarter turn and ran into the room behind me. This in retrospect was the crucial time. I don’t think we ever expect to be robbed, and especially at the highest end hotel during a scientific conference. There have been studies on victims, and supposedly, they all carry themselves as victims. I have never thought of myself as being in that category, since I am a third degree black belt. Also, I chase someone who takes from me.

I always want to be politically correct, and instead of screaming, “Stop!” immediately, I ran over to my purse to see if it was there. It was, but the wallet was gone. I ran after the man, into the room he had run into, and it was empty. I then ran out to the lobby, and I saw him further down the hallway. I screamed, “He stole my wallet – stop him!” and watched as he ran down two hallways filled with people. All I needed was SOMEBODY to trip him or grab him. There were no personnel from Westin in the vicinity, and the few people who registered what was going on started chasing him after he went past. I picked up a crowd of people chasing the man. We chased him thru two hallways and out into the lobby, thru the lobby, out into the entrance, across the entrance and over into the parking lot. A woman standing out in the foyer pointed that he went over the hill into the parking lot. I couldn’t see the parking lot from the hotel entrance, and when we went out there, I no longer knew where he was.

One of the people helping me search said to look in the cars, that perhaps he was hiding in a car or between cars. I got this absurd idea that he would be getting in a car and driving out, and went to stand in the entry way of the lot. I felt he had slipped us. So it surprised me when one of the gang spotted him and yelled. We picked up the chase again, and ran behind the man out into the road. I was not used to such strenuous running, and was getting winded. The volunteer ahead of me, after crossing across the road fell in a hole and hit the sidewalk with both knees and her head. Two cars stopped and two men got out, picking up the chase for the thief. I came over the knoll going into the parking lot of a mall, to see those two men tackle the thief. There was shouting, and I wondered how we were going to delay the thief until the police arrived. Amazingly, I saw the man being handcuffed. The police were already there.

This sounds like it should have a happy ending, doesn’t it? But no. The volunteer, Tracy, was taken to the hospital with a concussion. The thief no longer was in possession of my wallet, and we started the long search of the parking lots and hotel for my wallet. I am fairly famous for finding stuff, especially dogs, but did not get one whisper from St Anthony or the angels on where the wallet was.

I am closing this now, with updates to follow. After 8-10 “I’m sorries” from Westin, they are going to have the general manager call me. Whatever they do, it will be too little too late. I need help today, not tomorrow. The Westin’s answer to my situation is “I’ll get back to you- maybe”. That is like telling a woman who is getting raped I will get help for you- tomorrow or the next day- I called someone who COULD help.  Weigh in on this please- am I at fault somehow? What needs to happen for the Westin to make it right ?

Clarifications: I did not have my wallet stolen from my room. I had that much cash (maybe more) because I was a vendor & was making change out of my wallet. I do not usually carry that much cash. This happened at NOON: it was not dark, or late. I do not expect WESTIN WESTMINISTER TO BE totally at fault, I feel however that they should share in the loss of me being accosted in broad daylight during a convention at their establishment, without any security or actions from the Westin to help me. They have never thanked me for catching the thief,  in fact just the oppossite, the security guard told me “i was stupid to chase the thief & lucky I was alive”

I work for myself & this loss is immense.  I could not work for the rest of the confeerence because everyone there was asking me about the burgulary. Everyone except the WESTIN WESTMINISTER employees- I had to ask numerous times to talk to security and it was not until 2 days later that they even talked to me. Several of the Westin employees I talked to were “gloating ” that they had “caught the theif”  without the knowledge that the WESTIN had nothing to do with the capture, it was me, a few people from the conference and the Westminister police. A volunteer was seriously injured  during the chase,  & it is my belief that would not have happened if the WESTIN had not been asleep at the wheel.   the police shared with me that the Westin Westminister had just installed many new cameras because of an increase in crime.

To this date, the WESTIN WESTMINISTER’s general manager has called my HOME PHONE once, July 7th. As far as I know, they have not turned the claim into their insurance. No one asked me if I needed help with finances getting home, no one did anything but pass me from one manager to the next. I would LOVE to be blogging about the important information I have for the animal world instead of this travesty.  If you work for Westminister, know that I will  not stop asking for justice until I receive it.  All that money for new cameras, and crime still happened.

When I was in corportate life I had my coat stolen at a corporate function. The hotel reimbursed me for it within 2 days, and then the coat also mysteriously reappeared. The hotel told me to keep the money,  for the traumatic experience.   I wonder if I was with a big corporation now, if the WESTIN WOULD be so cavilar as to not even RETURN MY CALLS FOR OVER A WEEK. I waited to see this general manager, for over an hour, only to have them say he was not coming in . He was supposed to CALL ME ON MY DRIVE HOME ON MY CELL PHONE. I just received a MESSAGE ON MY HOME ANSWERING MACHINE on July 7th – almost a full week later. OF course, they had no reason to hurry, the hotel just CHARGED MY ROOM TO MY ROOMMATE”S CREDIT CARD without even asking us if they could do that.

Yes, I was careless. I booked a conference at a hotel that apparently could not possibly offer me a safe venue in which to display. If you have any suggestions on how I should have kept my money  I am open to suggestions. I do conferences almost every weekend and have never experienced the crime that I experienced at the WESTIN WESTMINISTER. I also feel that it is a crime that they are not helping me with the financial loss in any way to date.


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