True Detective: The Case of [Un]Lucky’s Mom’s Purse

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Unless you have been flying coach, you probably have heard of the golden boy, Lucky’s blog, called One Mile at a Time. Indeed, Lucky and a hand full of other prominent bloggers initiated me into the underworld of points. That is why today I was irritated when I heard that his mother had been robbed at the W Barcelona.

Here is my understanding of the facts:

The details are creepy but essentially a confidence man approached Lucky’s mom at the hotel while Lucky was working in the room. He had a curious conversation about his flight from Dubai to Singapore that coincidentally Lucky and his mom were also on. From there it gets stranger as the man invites Lucky’s mom for some coffee, an innocent request on its face. She returned to the room and informed Lucky of the circumstances and he advised her to stay away.

Lucky heads out for the evening. His mom is in the room when she hears a knock on the door. Sure enough it’s the weird man again who relentlessly asks her to come out to dinner. Annoyed at his presence and wanting to be rid of him, she goes with him to the lobby where he insists on taking her for dinner. Citing the weather, she says that even if she did want to go out she couldn’t because it was a bit chilly outside. The weird man who is growing ever weirder says he will buy her a coat and return to take her out.

Apprehensive, Lucky’s mom heads back to the room and locks the doors. Interestingly, the phone keeps ringing and it is assumed it was the man calling. Lucky’s mom refuses to answer. Lucky eventually returns to the room and finds the key no longer works. Security has to let him in His mom was asleep but her purse has gone missing.

What gives?

First, I am relieved that Lucky’s mom is fine. I could only imagine what my mom would do in such a situation. Having said that, I would posit that this heist was not random but premeditated.

There are too many peculiarities that the True Detective must analyze.

  • The Target: It is my opinion that Lucky not his mother was the target of this heist. The plan was to get Lucky’s mom out of the room and rob Lucky blind while both of them were out.
  • The Stolen Property, the purse: The details of this are still unclear. Lucky goes on to say that his mom allowed the stranger to enter the room and use the bathroom before accompanying him to the lobby. Could it have been lifted during this time?
  • The Plan
    • The soft target: Lucky’s mom: The weird man fabricated the fantastic story of being on the same flight as Lucky and his mom in order to put her at ease. As others have pointed out, it seems rather likely that the man tracked Lucky’s trip via social media and was lying in wait for his arrival. With a picture profile of Lucky, he was able to wait for him to arrive at the W, make a positive ID on his mother then wait for Lucky to leave before engaging her in conversation.
    • The room number: It really isn’t difficult to ascertain the room number of a hotel guest. I’m always happy when a hotel doesn’t follow protocol and gives me my friend or family’s room number so I can send them something or just show up as a surprise. Hotels should only offer to connect you to the room without disclosing the number. In any event, if this was the planned plot that I suspect that it was then another participant could have surreptitiously followed Lucky to his room to find out where it was.
    • The room key: Assuming the purse wasn’t stolen from her person, it must have been taken from the room. Here’s how the perpetrators could have gained access.
      • “I forgot my key in the room, my name is, my room number is…” amazingly works without showing of ID or by saying simple details like a birth date.
      • The key was stolen.
      • The key was copied.
        • This is the most probable explanation. When a key card is created at a hotel and is replaced, the original card no longer works and the new card becomes the only means of accessing the room. This scenario is consistent with Lucky’s account of events who discovers that his key isn’t working when he returns to the room in the evening.
    • The Phone Calls: Lucky presumes that it was the man who kept calling the room which lines up with my theory. The man was trying his best to get Lucky’s mom out of the room so his co-conspirator would have unbridled access to the room.
  • Missing Piece 
    • It seems that surveillance will solve this riddle quite quickly. Did someone besides Lucky and his mom gain access to the room? If not then that doesn’t disprove my theory that the original target was Lucky. Remember, we are assuming the man kept calling the room in an effort to get Lucky’s mom to join him.
    • It wouldn’t have shocked me had Lucky’s mom went out for dinner that the stranger would’ve furthered the scam by giving her back her purse claiming he magically found it.
  • Inside Job? 
    • I doubt it.
  • My Theory
    • Thieves knew Lucky was coming to W Barcelona, how he was getting there, and who he was traveling with. They lied in wait for their arrival. One guy tracked Lucky to the room to ascertain the room number. The other made friendly conversation with Lucky’s mom about Lucky’s hobby thereby gaining the degree of trust needed to enter her room later in the evening.
    • The purse was stolen during this time.
    • The weird man tried to get Lucky’s mom to go to dinner. She refused. This is where the plot was foiled. Had she complied, someone would’ve had complete access to the room. This would’ve been possible either because they had Lucky’s mom’s key or because they managed to convince the front desk to get them a new one.
  • Lesson 
    • While bloggers are hardly celebrities, they are soft targets. Public social media makes you an easy target especially when anyone and everyone knows who you are. This gives the opportunity to plot a pretty elementary scheme to take advantage of the information that you have volunteered.
  • My Advice 
    • Put the room under an assumed name. Make it a point to have the hotel note that access to the room should not be given without proper identification.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Also a mystery: who goes on travel dates with their moms? and then just leaves them to dick around the hotel for the whole day? Why not just leave that old liability at home / Florida?

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