Wellington woman robbed by couple seeking shelter

2019-07-03 14:09
The Versailles self-catering unit in Wellington (PHOTO: Supplied)

The Versailles self-catering unit in Wellington (PHOTO: Supplied)

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A woman who runs a self-catering guest unit in Wellington, in the Western Cape, has been robbed by a couple who booked in using fake names.

Amelia Jacobs, who owns the Versailles self-catering unit in Wellington, says the man and woman arrived on Sunday night after 10pm.

“They wanted to book three nights but only slept there on Sunday night,” she says.

The man introduced himself with someone else’s business card, Amelia says.

“He hadn’t wanted to supply any personal credentials but was very talkative,” she adds.

The couple seemed friendly and Amelia didn’t suspect they might be up to no good. The man told Amelia they’d had a flat tyre and were tired from struggling with changing it.

“They’d seen our sign and came knocking looking for a place to sleep.

“He left to draw cash but came back empty-handed, saying he couldn’t find an ATM,” Amelia tells YOU. He promised to pay her the next morning.

“My husband and I realised we’d probably never seen the money.”

But Amelia decided to be a Good Samaritan. “It was a bitterly cold night so I was prepared to forego the fee so that these people didn’t have to sleep in their car,” she says.

The next morning, she suspected something was amiss.

“I waited until 2pm before investigating.”

She was shocked by what she found. Not only had the couple not paid for the night’s accommodation, they’d also broken open the cupboard and stolen all her linen, towels and guest toiletries, as well as the hairdryer in the room.

“This is the first time any guest has so intentionally and premeditatively deceived us, damaged our property and robbed us,” Amelia says.

She says she realises people in the hospitality industry are vulnerable to abuse.

“Small businesses in particular are extra-vulnerable to opportunists and chancers.

“Though this was an unpleasant experience, I still love my job and welcome all my guests with the friendliness and hospitality associated with our self-catering unit and expected from us,” she says.

Provincial police say Wellington detective are investigating fraud and theft charges.

 (PHOTO: Supplied)

“Two suspects, a man and a woman, allegedly booked in at a guest house in Wellington from 23 to 24 June and left without paying,” Lieutenant-colonel Andrè Traut, provincial police spokesman, confirms.

“The suspects allegedly took several items belonging to the guest house. No arrests have been made.”


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