Honeymoon from hell: Howard helps a couple robbed on vacation

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Gianna Sgourakis and Aky Lionas from East Hanover, NJ had a great June wedding and a not so great honeymoon.

On the way to Hawaii, they stopped off in Los Angeles for a few days.  They stayed at the ritzy Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. One morning they went out to Beverly Hills to do a little shopping.  Aky had left his wedding band on the hotel dresser.  His new bride noticed, of course.

“I noticed he wasn’t wearing it. And I was like where’s your wedding band? And he was like oh, I forgot it.”

Gianna was cool with that. She wasn’t cool with what they discovered when they got back to the hotel.

Aky: “We get back and our door was open.  I thought room service was in there cleaning up.”

Gianna: “He went inside to get his ring…If housekeeping was in there we’d let them do what they needed to do and we’d come back.”

Aky: “I noticed our clothes are all over the place. The room’s a mess. And I just kinda freaked out.”

Gianna: “I stay outside and he starts screaming. And I was like stop joking let’s go.”

No joke. A thief had gotten into their room.  They estimate they lost about $30,000 worth of items, including Aky’s ring and a lot of cash.

The hotel reimbursed them $2,500 right away. The couple went on to Hawaii. Eventually, Aky received an email from the hotel’s head of security explaining what happened. Aky told us what it said.

“A man walked in off the street, rode the elevator up and was walking around on the floors.  And when room service showed up to our room to go in and get the trays the guy just walked in behind him and said it was his room.”

When they tried to get reimbursed for more, the hotel’s insurer cited California’s “Innkeeper” statutes that generally cap a hotel’s liability at just $1,000!

“Once I saw that we weren’t really getting anywhere,“ Gianna said, “I decided to contact Channel 11 to see if Howard could help us.”

We made some inquiries. And eventually the people running the hotel agreed to reimburse Aky and Gianna another $12,500.

The Hollywood Roosevelt’s attorney sent us a statement with their final public word on the matter.  Here’s what it said:

“The Hotel and Mr. and Mrs. Lionas were victims of a criminal act.  The hotel has gone above and beyond what is legally required, and as a gesture of good will, we have already settled this unfortunate incident with the couple privately. As with all Hotel matters, our guests’ experience is always our first priority.”
We’re glad we could help resolve this one.

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