RICHMOND—Imagine a stranger staying in a hotel room right across the hall from you, looking through the peephole just as you're about to get dressed, watching every move you make.
Police say a stranger was right next door to ESPN reporter, Erin Andrews. She was videotaped through a peephole, as she stood naked in her hotel room.
We put his theory to the test. My photographer and I drove to Fredericksburg and chose a hotel at random. I checked in alone. An hour later - he checked in and asked for the room right next to mine.
The clerk gave pause - but without calling me - gave my photographer the room right across the hall.
"You'd think from a liability perspective, they'd take better precautions," said Crime Prevention Expert Sergeant Michael Stith. "You'd think they'd be more vigilant, based on what happened previously."
Can you be more vigilant, when you're travelling alone, even if the hotel isn't vigilant?"
Stith says you can, if you follow some simple steps:
First, learn as much as you can about the hotel where you're staying. Call AAA or call friends who have stayed at the same hotel.
"You want to get an idea of how safe it is in that particular area," add Stith. "What type of security measure they have before you get there."
And, Stith says there's more you should do, once you check in.
"The instructions I would give to a clerk, 'If anybody comes and asks for me, to notify me.' You know, don't give out any information whether I'm here or not."
Stith says be specific about where you're room is located and make sure the attendant is discrete.
"You should ask for a room that's away from the exits," said Stith. "He should at no time say out loud you're room number."
And once you're inside your room, you should check it out as best as you can.
"You need to check out the locks. Take a look at the peephole, make sure you have one. Make sure it's operational. Check the showers, the bathroom, underneath the bed, just look around a little bit because the hotel room provides multiple hiding places."
And with multiple hotels to chose from - you have multiple hotel policies. Many have security measures in place, others do not.
"Well, hopefully features like this that you're doing interviews on in reference to hotel safety should help elevate that awareness," adds Stith. "That managers at these various chain hotels become familiar with, and you know, train their staff adequately."