Video: Man Steals Rolex Off A Guest’s Arm In Marriott Hotel Lobby

A guest showed up at a Marriott Hotel in DC to check in. It was the Residence Inn Courtyard by Marriott. Yes, there are two different Marriott brands at the same address in downtown Washington DC at the Convention Center.

The problem is that the man wanted early check-in. And it wasn’t available. At 1 a.m. So the guest, Armin Zeyafatzadeh, went to sleep in the lobby to wait for a room to be ready. He was going to be waiting awhile.

The man was wearing a $24,000 Rolex watch, but he was unwilling to book the night before his arrival to ensure he’d be able to check in even though he reports not having slept in over 48 hours. That’s when things went sideways.

By 3 a.m. the traveler had drifted soundly into a deep slumber with his head tilted back and mouth wide open. Unbeknownst to him, he was being watched by the man sitting close by. Thirty minutes later, the hotel security camera caught the suspected stealthy thief get up from his seat and inch closer to the now sleeping and inattentive Zeyafatzadeh.

The suspect spots the exposed watch. Edging closer, he touches Zeyafatzadeh’s wrist to get a better look.

The suspect then looks around to see if anyone is watching and then moves in for the steal. He then uses both hands to lift Zeyafatzadeh’s wrist and unbuckle the watch off before making a hasty exit.

When the guest woke up he noticed his watch was gone. With the help of a hotel employee he viewed security footage. It was all recorded.

The perpetrator was identified as a guest at the hotel. Police searched the man’s room, but the Rolex wasn’t there. The guest whose watch was stolen “filed an insurance claim with the hotel but he says no one has yet to get back to him.” Bonvoyed!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. No one deserves to be robbed no matter how stupid they are for wearing a Rolex when they are traveling.

  2. I don’t know if I buy this. Could very well be an insurance rip off. I have a hard time believing the victim was that sound asleep. He was not in a very comfortable sleeping position. So accomplice lifts off the watch but it isn’t in his possession. Hard to arrest and asleep guy doesn’t press charges. Meanwhile he makes a claim for his stolen watch which likely he has an insurance rider for. All looks to neat to me.

  3. Who wears a $24,000 watch but doesn’t book a room when you know you’ll be arriving at 1 AM? That’s not early check-in, that’s asking for a free night. Something doesn’t add up.


    Wear a fake Rolex, fall asleep in hotel lobby, arrange for fake Rolex to be stolen, make insurance claim for a real Rolex.

    Not saying that’s what happened, but before paying out that claim, I’d be asking for proof he owns the real watch.

  4. Yup, difficult to grasp the extent of stupid. But then, the oddest scams sometimes work, especially with insurance companies.

  5. They should study the video carefully. If they are sure the thief was a hotel guest then extraordinary rendition and waterboarding is justified.

  6. Does he not travel enough about hotel timelines. No room will be available until at least noon for most hotel. Early check in before 3pm is a courtesy that usually only extended to elites. Even elite members are treated like trash these day. I ought to know. Going from SPG to Marriott is about as bad is it gets.

  7. If I an afford a real Rolex, I doubt I will be staying at a Courtyard/Residence combo hotel in DC. Lots of nicer properties in the area which allow early checkin.

  8. Google him. PPP loan for $24k for his car transportation business with 1 employee. Whole story is off. This is insurance fraud.

  9. Maybe the guest trying the “early check-in at 1 am” who appeared to be robbed was in on a scheme to claim to be robbed in order to engage in insurance fraud?

  10. You wear a $24k watch and stay at a Residence Inn? Really? This scream scam all over the place. Probably a fake watch and both working together.

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