WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A man from Utah was arrested after authorities found out he was scamming hotels to offer him free stays.
- Ryan Sentelle State was reportedly releasing rats and hamsters into various hotels and then complaining to the staff about the feces left by the rodents.
- The 37-year-old demanded that his stay should be free after showing staff feces left by the rodents and ask to not be charged for the ‘filthy’ room.
A Utah man is facing criminal charges after he reportedly released his pet rats and hamsters in his hotel rooms to avoid footing the bill for his stay.
Ryan Sentelle State had already scammed three hotels in Utah using the same stunt, according to police. But authorities also reported that they had reason to believe that State scammed several more hotels in the area.
The 37-year-old allegedly released his rats and hamsters in his hotel room, then he would bring in staff and point out feces left by his pet rodents and ask to not be charged for the room.
The rodents did end up actually damaging the hotel rooms, costing property owners thousands of dollars to hire pest control to remove the creatures from the rooms and clean up the leftover mess, according to reports.
State now faces five class B misdemeanor charges: three counts of criminal mischief and two charges of theft by deception. Under Utah law, State would face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 if found guilty.
In December, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and AARP announced a coordinated campaign aimed at educating senior travelers to avoid travel scams which have become an all-too-common incidence in the travel industry.