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Theft rife in Slovak hotels

HOTEL managers around the country have complained that a number of their guests steal from hotels, sometimes taking items as large as lamps and TV sets.

According to the Národná Obroda daily, Italians and Russians have the worst reputation among Slovak hotel managers in this respect.

Among things most frequently stolen are towels, dressing gowns, glasses, bottle openers, blankets, and toilet paper, hotel managers say.

"Sometimes [the guests] even take the lamps and TV sets with them," said Alena Schloserová, who runs the Polom Hotel in the northern Slovak town of Žilina.

In Bratislava's luxurious Forum Hotel, however, managers say that stealing is becoming less frequent than in the past.

"[People steal things] maybe two or three times a year," said the Forum's Ivica Kubková.

But in Banská Bystrica's Lux Hotel, some guests have even taken geraniums out of the flower boxes on the hotel's balconies.

Hotels usually defend themselves by either adding the value of the objects onto the visitor's bill, or, in cases of larger losses or problems, by declaring the visitor persona non grata.

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