Canadians' Mexico trip "destroyed" after $5K worth of belongings allegedly stolen from hotel (PHOTOS)

Apr 11 2023, 3:54 pm

When Issey Abraha and his brother Beraki embarked on a trip to Mexico for a bachelor and birthday celebration, they didn’t anticipate spending most of their vacation stressed out.

The Canadians are calling on more accountability from large resorts after nearly $5,000 worth of their belongings were allegedly stolen from their room at Hotel Riu Santa Fe in Cabo San Lucas.

“It’s just been a horrible experience,” Issey told Daily Hive over the phone.

Issey, who is based in Toronto, and Beraki, based out of Halifax, travelled to Cabo on March 9 with three of their friends. The Canadians claim the robbery likely occurred on the night of March 12 going into March 13.

A rude awakening


Supplied by Issey Abraha

The brothers left their hotel room at 10 pm to go party and returned at 1 am and fell asleep. They woke up later on the 13th only to realize that some of their belongings were missing.

“We wake up the next day around 12-ish and I say, ‘Where’s my bag? Where’s my bag?'” Issey recounted. His brother had no idea.

“And then he [Beraki] just happens to go to his bag and he’s like, ‘Wait, where’s my money?’ And then he’s like, ‘Sh*t, where’s my laptop?'”

All in all, a Macbook Pro, $1,500 in cash, and a black backpack containing Issey’s two iPhones were missing from their room.

The Macbook belonged to Beraki, who is a second-year medical student at Dalhousie University. He, unfortunately, lost some important research that was saved on the laptop.

The investigation

Issey says they immediately went to resort management to report the missing items.

According to him, management checked the security cameras and admitted that they don’t have cameras in all of the hotel corridors.

Daily Hive reached out to Riu Hotels and Resorts to confirm this. A spokesperson said they could not share this information “due precisely to security reasons.”

The Abraha brothers’ room was on the ground floor of the hotel, so Issey’s initial theory was someone had entered through the balcony and stolen their things. However, after looking through the footage of a camera that was facing their balcony, nothing was found.

Issey says they actually managed to track Beraki’s laptop for three days using Apple’s Find My app. It was tracked to a nearby neighbourhood, so the brothers called Mexico police, and an officer was sent to accompany them into town.


Supplied by Issey Abraha


Supplied by Issey Abraha

They were unsuccessful in locating the laptop.

“We track it to this nearby area where we think it’s at a pawn shop, and it’s just constantly moving,” said Issey. “It goes from place to place to place to place where it eventually shuts off.”

Supplied by Issey Abraha

The fight for compensation

Issey says they have reached a dead end trying to get compensation for their missing belongings.

“The thing that really irritated me was the manager telling me ‘Hey, your bag wasn’t stolen, you probably just lost it,'” he said, adding that their reasoning was that the backpack couldn’t be tracked, unlike Beraki’s laptop.

When the brothers asked for a police report from the officer that took them to look for the laptop, Issey says he just gave them a WhatsApp number.

“He hasn’t responded to me in the last two weeks,” he said.

The hotel manager allegedly offered Issey and his brother a voucher to stay at any Riu resort, but they declined.

“No, I don’t want a voucher because we don’t feel safe that our stuff’s been stolen,” he said.

The brothers returned from Mexico to Canada on March 16 deflated. “We came to Cabo to celebrate a bachelor party and this incident has completely destroyed our trip,” said Issey.

Since then, the Toronto resident has emailed upper management at Sunwing — they booked the hotel through the travel agency — and the Riu.

Thus far, no one responded to his emails, he says.

Issey and Beraki then decided to put online pressure on the Riu by commenting on its Instagram posts.

Supplied by Issey Abraha

“I was able to build some traction where I got like 150 comments on the post,” said Issey. “They deleted all our comments and they hid the post and people commenting on all of them.”


Supplied by Issey Abraha

Issey ended up calling the Riu’s complaints hotline, only to receive an email two days later stating that the hotel cannot compensate them based on a lack of a police report and evidence that their belongings were stolen. It also stated that it had closed its investigation.

A Riu spokesperson told Daily Hive that it is not able to share details of the incident to protect its customers’ privacy.

“Nevertheless we can state that we followed our protocol and our service guidelines, that always consider guests’ wellbeing the main priority,” said the Riu.

“This includes the direct involvement of our hotel general manager and any help needed to coordinate with police or any other authority involved.”

Sunwing has yet to reply to Daily Hive’s request for comment.

Similar experiences at the same Mexican resort

The brothers aren’t the only ones who’ve experienced something like this at the Hotel Riu Santa Fe.

Sifting through the resort’s Google reviews, Daily Hive found dozens of comments with similar stories.

There were several accounts of visitors alleging their belongings were stolen and then receiving no help from management.


There were also reviews from people complaining about how the safes in the hotel were ineffective.



Issey’s friends who were on the Mexico trip also claim they had items stolen from their rooms.

Mahad Ali says his AirPods and charger were missing after he came back from breakfast one morning.

“I felt unsafe since I found out about the other guys getting their stuff stolen from their room. Then it happened to me on my last day,” he told Daily Hive in an email.

“It honestly ruined the trip because we spent a majority of our time trying to track stolen items and feeling we had to continuously guard our stuff.”

Issey says he’s disappointed with how the Riu has handled the incident.

“At the minimum, I think they should pay us back for the stuff that we lost… or at least refund our ticket, something that makes sense from a customer perspective,” he said.

The aftermath

The brothers’ fight for compensation continues after what was supposed to be a fun and restful vacation in Mexico, which Issey says is the worst part.

“It’s the after-effect that causes you the pain,” he expressed.

“Even me, now, trying to get my story out and trying to put pressure, like, that’s a job in itself. I just wanted to go on vacation and enjoy my time. I didn’t expect to do all this. It’s taken away from my work from my life,” he added.

On top of the emotional toll, the incident has also taken a financial toll on the brothers, who now have to replace all of their electronics.

“These hotels make so much money, they need to be held accountable,” said Issey. “I hope no one experiences what we went through ever.”

Isabelle DoctoIsabelle Docto

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