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Police called to hotel room in dispute over dirty towels
A teenager on her first holiday abroad without parents has told of her terror after armed police officers were called to her hotel because of dirty handtowels.
Francesca Stefanyszyn and her boyfriend Ged Sykes said that they feared they were going to prison when staff at the five-star Crown Piast hotel in Krakow, Poland, demanded £41 to pay for the dirty towels.
The startled pair, who were on the holiday for Ged’s 18th birthday, were told they had dirtied two small handtowels and that they were not going anywhere unless they paid 200 Zloty – £41.
Francesca’s dad Taras Stefanyszyn said the situation escalated when the hotel called police.
“Two burly police officers turned up,” he said. “They didn’t speak any English and were demanding passports. They had guns and truncheons.”
He added: “Francesca was crying on the phone to me – they were both intimidated. She didn’t expect the police to turn up.”
Mr Stefanyszyn had booked the trip for the pair, paying for flights, the hotel and transfers, as a present for Ged’s birthday. He said the teenagers had no cash left from the spending money they had taken.
“It was either I pay up or they didn’t catch their flight home or they got arrested,” said Mr Stefanyszyn.
Francesca, 17, of Spen View Lane, Bierley, said: “I thought I was going to get arrested. I was scared of missing the plane and being stuck in Poland with no money and nowhere to go.”
Francesca and Ged managed to get their flight home in the end.
A spokesman for the hotel said the matter was very important to them and that they would investigate it before responding properly