Response from Baguio Tiptop:
When the guests checked in they were informed of police warnings of recent thefts in the area, visitors to Baguio being targeted by an upsurge of criminal activity over the holiday period. They asked my sister to remove padlocks on the upstairs windows, she refused citing the reported modus operandi of using a stick to hook belongings through windows, and was told not to worry as the guests "had nothing worth stealing". A prominently posted notice invited guests to deposit valuables and cash in a locked safe by arrangement with the management. The downstairs windows had grilles and the openers were close fitting and securely fastened, the garden area outside was fenced, topped with barbed wire, with a padlocked gate. The two night guards were adamant that they did not fall asleep, that they patrolled every half hour, and that they did not see or hear any intruders, the police investigators found them credible as they found no evidence of any break in. We saw no reason to padlock ground floor windows as the grilles prevented any entry, and the simple precaution of not leaving valuables with reach of the window would have avoided any possibility of the theft, which was apparently using the modus operandi warned against. We do appreciate that this was a distressing experience, we found it so too, especially as we took every precaution that seemed to be reasonably necessary to ensure the safety and security of our guests. "Warning your friends about it" is only reasonable if in doing so you take responsibility for your own shortcomings in the matter. Hindsight is 20/20 and we have now added heavy gauge mesh screens to the windows as well as the grilles, and are in the process of installing CCTV which hopefully will act as a deterrent to sneak thieves in future. Even so, we live in a world where taking sensible precautions before retiring for the night is, regrettably, a must.