Business Leaders of Tomorrow overcome theft winning 5 awards at conference

Posted: April 8, 2015 | Updated: April 10, 2015 | Written by Brooke Cary

Members of the Riverside City College’s Business Leaders of Tomorrow Club had some of their belongings stolen inside a hotel room in the City of Ontario while attending the State Business Leadership Conference on March 27 between the times of 7:06 p.m. and 10:28 p.m., according to club members.

The students were attending the conference at the Ontario Airport Hotel on North Haven Avenue when the incident occurred. Students had just left the room to attend a meeting.

By the time the BLT members returned they stated that their belongings were missing from the room on the fourth floor of the hotel.

“They (police) said it was a quick run through–it was a ‘grab-and-dash’ kind of thing,” said Ray Rodriguez, vice president of the club.

BLT believed the thieves went onto the roof, allowing them access to the room through the window. A handprint was found on the window of the room and the window lock appeared to be damaged, according to students.

Hotel staff denied the possibility of entrance through the window.

“You can’t open the windows from the outside of our building on any floor,” explained Ian Asmundson, who is the hotel’s front desk manager.  On the night of the incident, hotel staff attempted to re-open the window and could “only open it about 4 inches.”

Nevertheless, students were concerned about lack of security measures.

“There’s no cameras in the hallways…not in the lobby either,” said Alyssa Green, student and secretary for BLT.

The hotel also confirmed that the security team is not on-site during the day but that they come around from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

The hotel performed a lock interrogation, which is an electronic key check, ensuring that no other key (aside from the one given to the students) had been used to enter the room. Asmundson admitted that there were no cameras on the roof or in the guest hallways, however cameras are located at the exits of the building. He was unaware of any suspicious activity from the surveillance videos of exit cameras surrounding the building.

“Staff at the hotel were informed of the incident as they came in to work over the next few days,” Asmundson said. The reported items stolen have not been turned in to the lost and found, as of April 7.”

Despite the stolen items, BLT delegates received five medals for their performance at the Conference. RCC came in fourth in Business Law, fourth in Administration of Justice and first in Client Services. The delegates were competing with students from UCLA, Berkeley, Cal State Fullerton and Cal Poly Pomona in the latter event.

PBL (Phi Beta Lambda) is a nationwide organization. In fact, for the past two years, some delegates from RCC’s PBL club were offered the opportunity to compete at the national conference in Chicago but were not able to go because of funding.

“This is the first PBL event we’ve gone to and we were surprised how big the organization actually is,” Rodriguez said. “We realized there’s a lot more possibilities for our club members to do more on and off campus. It was a big inspiration.”

RCC students were also able to network with others at the Conference, meeting PBL clubs from Fresno State and Cal State San Bernardino among others.

“This gave us a real opportunity to expand the club, more so than in previous years…We met club members that are in the same group as us from other colleges that can offer us advice and counsel,” Rodriguez said. “Additionally, BLT has direct contact with the president, vice president and the state officers of the PBL organization,” according to Rodriguez.

Rodriguez will be transferring to Cal State San Bernardino for the fall semester and was offered a position as an officer at CSUSB for the PBL Club while he was at the conference.

“Officers are basically leaders of the club,” Rodriguez said. “When I come there eventually, they will have a position waiting for me.”

The Ontario Police Department did confirm that an incident report was filed for the stolen items but were unable to comment further. Ontario detectives are continuing investigation on the case.