Disney-area hotel employee caught rummaging through guest's purse, deputies say
Suspect claimed he was 'looking for black mold' in hotel room
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – An employee at a Disney-area hotel claimed he was looking for black mold when he was caught in a guest's hotel room rummaging through her purse, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
The victim said she had just returned from the cabana at Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace around 10:25 p.m. Sunday when she saw Ricardo Valladares, 43, going through her roommate's purse.
She asked Valladares why he was in their room and he replied, "Looking for black mold" as he directed his gaze toward the ceiling, according to the report.
The victim asked Valladares for his hotel identification and said she wanted to speak to security but he kept saying the door had been left open, deputies said.
Valladares pushed the victim out of the way and left the hotel room and began running down the hallway as the victim ran behind him yelling for someone to call security, the affidavit said.
The victim reported the incident to front desk staff, who contacted the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
Valladares denied being on the floor where the incident took place, even though a housekeeper saw him running away from the victim and he was unresponsive on the hotel radio at the time of the incident, the affidavit said.
Deputies arrested Valladares on charges of grand theft by a hotel employee and burglary of a dwelling with assault or battery.
A Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace spokeswoman said the hotel is cooperating with law enforcement.
"Guest safety and security is our top priority and we continue to make every effort to ensure that all practices and standards are in line with strict safety and security regulations. We take this matter very seriously and are cooperating fully with the police investigation," a Hilton official said in a statement.
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