Hostel Lock-box Security


In April 2017, I was staying at a hostel in Paris waiting for snail mail as a part of my visa application process. During this stay thefts were occurring in our dorm room. There were three of us that were staying in the room for a longer period time. The people who stayed shorter terms were being stolen from. Suspicion was of course on us three. Then we three were stolen from. Well, two of us were and the third, who was later found to be the thief, also said he was stolen from.

I had thirty Scottish pounds taken from my backpack that was locked in a lock-box. This is the lock-box.

Closed and locked lock-box

While I was annoyed that I had been stolen from, I was more curious on how I had been stolen from. After thinking about this for a little bit, it dawned on me, that the hinging mechanism was bolted on the ends. Using a multi-tool I carried and attempted to remove the bolts.


Opened and locked lock-box

Lock-box bolts

You can see that the lock is still closed on the front of the lock-box.

I showed this to the hostel staff and they were quickly dismissive. I suspect this is a known thing with these cages. I wasn’t there much longer, so I wasn’t very concerned. This whole experience did teach me to think about the lock-boxes at hostels I would stay at.

Oh, and the thief was later caught when he asked to move rooms and thefts occurred in his new room. He was turned over to the Paris police, from what I heard.