Sticky fingers, beware! Some hotels are catching thieves who steal towels and linens using RFID.

Linen Technology Tracking, a company in Miami, has patented a washable RFID chip that can be sewn into towels, robes and bed sheets, allowing hotels to keep track of their linens.

So far, three hotels  —  in Honolulu, Miami and Manhattan  —  are using the chip, said Linen Technology Tracking’s executive vice president, William Serbin. 

"Our relationship with Fluensee allows us to easily scale our capability to serve the growing needs of our customers,” Executive Vice President at Linen Technology Tracking, William Serbin said in a press release. “Through the utilization of RFID technology we are providing companies with the unique ability to better control their operating costs and investment in assets critical to satisfying the needs of the hotel guests.”

The Honolulu property, which introduced the technology last summer, has reduced theft of its pool towels from 4,000 a month to just 750, saving more than $16,000 a month,  Serbin said.

But the technology isn’t just about foiling thieves. The tags let properties monitor their linens in real time, so that at any given moment they know when they need to order more. With inconsistent room occupancy, some hotels have been buying new linens less frequently, Serbin said.

Besides reducing theft, the washable RFID tags will also help hotels keep track of linens in real time, so they know when to order more.

I'm wondering what's next: soaps, telephones and all of the other stuff that's not bolted down in a hotel room?