There's an unspoken code when it comes to staying at hotels: certain things are complimentary, others items are not. Those little mints on the pillow? Free of charge. Soaps, shampoos and conditioners? Go ahead, take those too. Taking home a hotel towel or two? Well, that may be crossing a line.
For the most part, travellers around the world remain an honest bunch, with 65 per cent admitting they've never stolen anything from a hotel room. But that of course leaves just over a third of travellers having exercised their five-finger discount during a hotel stay according to Hotel.com's survey of hotel guest honesty.
The survey of 8,600 international travellers found the Danes were some of the most honest guests, with 12 per cent of participants admitting they've stolen from a hotel room. In second, 15 per cent of Dutch guests admitted to stealing from their rooms. Norwegians rounded out third, with 16 per cent saying they've pilfered something from a hotel room.
Canada, or at least a certain part of Canada, wasn't far behind their Nordic and Scandinavian counterparts, with 19 per cent of guests from French Canada admitting to hotel room theft, and places Quebecers in a three-way tie with guests from Brazil and Hong Kong for fourth place. Canadian Anglophones were less judicious, with 30 per cent of guests stealing from hotels during their stay.
The World's Most Dishonest Travellers, By Country. Story continues below:
Also worth mentioning is what Canadians decided to steal, with those in Quebec taking linens and towels, while the rest of Canada took magazines and books. Books, magazines, towels and linens were the preferred items for pilfering -- with the odd exception by Chinese guests who opted to take furnishings like lamps, clocks, and artwork.
No one knows for certain why guests would want to take a lamp home, but according to Genevieve Shaw Brown, a senior editor at Travelocity, sometimes kleptomaniacs act on emotions and less on logic.
"I've heard stories of people stealing things from a hotel for sentimental value," Brown told ABC News "For example, friends of mine wanted the slippers from the hotel where they spent their honeymoon. They were told the slippers were available for purchase in the gift shop, then they were sold out. Rather than leave without the slippers, they took the ones from the room, reasoning the hotel wasn't going to reuse them anyway."
But don't expect hotels to take these thefts lightly. Some hotels in the United States have turned to technology to solve their woes by using radio-frequency identification chip to keep track of robes, towels and pillows. The chips have proven to be effective with a number of guests that have been apprehended and asked to return the stolen goods to back to the hotel, reports Gadling.