Las Vegas resort housekeeper accused of stealing over $700K in jewelry from room
Written by ABC Audio. All rights reserved. on May 25, 2023
(LAS VEGAS) — A housekeeper at a Las Vegas resort is accused of stealing more than $700,000 worth of jewelry from a hotel room, police said.
Las Vegas police responded to the Vdara Hotel & Spa on the strip on May 7 regarding an alleged theft. Three male guests reported coming back to their room the night before, several hours after requesting room service, to find that their “bags were inside-out, beds were half made and cleaning supplies were left behind,” according to an arrest report.
Police said that 14 luxury items totaling $768,400 — including two Rolex watches, an Audemars Piguet watch, a Cartier watch, diamond chains and a gold ring — were reported missing by the guests, according to the report. The jewelry was in a computer bag that the guests had “hidden” among other bags in the room, police said. The men told police they did not lose their room keys.
Vdara housekeeping records showed that the suspect — identified as Amanda Melendez, 28, of Las Vegas — cleaned the room the night of the theft, according to the report. Hotel security records showed that she accessed the room using her housekeeping key for approximately 20 minutes, according to the report.
Following the cleaning, the room was accessed again using a different key that had been unaccounted for since May 5, according to the report. That key, #86, was also used on May 5 to gain access to a room where a guest reported a theft of $300 in cash, the report said.
“It is believed at this time Melendez had key #86, and was using it to gain unauthorized access to rooms,” the arrest report stated.
When questioned by police on May 7, Melendez reportedly denied knowing anything about the stolen property and declined to give a statement, according to the arrest report.
Further investigation found that Melendez had been in contact with a man in the Clark County Detention Center since October 2022, according to the report. On the day of the theft, the man called Melendez on a recorded line, during which she allegedly told him she was cleaning a room where “there was an Audemars Piguet, a Rollie (Rolex) and a bunch of ‘other s—‘ referring to jewelry that she found in a room,” the arrest reported stated.
The call took place while Melendez was in the victims’ room, and the items reportedly matched the description of the stolen jewelry, according to police.
Melendez allegedly told the man that she would “make the room ‘look like a tornado'” and asked him “Should I take them all?” — referring to two Rolex and Cartier watches — to which he responded “Yeah, yeah,” according to the arrest report.
She then allegedly told the man she “can’t think straight” and is going to clock out, the arrest report said.
Melendez was booked into custody on May 15 on grand larceny, residential burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary charges. She posted bail and is due in court on June 20.
ABC News was unable to reach Melendez for comment.
Melendez had been employed at Vdara since November 2022 and had no prior disciplinary action on her record, according to the police report.
ABC News has reached out to MGM Resorts International, the parent company of the Vdara hotel brand, for comment.
Las Vegas police said there is no indication at this time that Melendez is connected with any other thefts reported at the Vdara but they are still investigating.
Police said they are also continuing to review phone calls between Melendez and the detained man.
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