WE have been hearing impressive stories about a century of stealing from London's Ritz hotel, whose recent amnesty of items removed over the years by forgetful guests unearthed 1930s bone china tea sets and antique soap holders among hundreds of other items of various value. Nothing much has changed: according to the latest information from Piccadilly, the hotel reported losses last year of 3,000 tea strainers, 5,000 pairs of slippers, 6,000 ashtrays and 1,000 bath towels. Keeping Posted organised a quick survey around some of Hong Kong's hotels to discover the extent of the petty pilfering among the territory's wealthier visitors. And we are proud to announce that visitors to Hong Kong appear to be more honest than those who go to London. None of the hotels contacted said they had yearly losses that could even attempt to match the Ritz's impressive inventory, and Furama Kempinski PR manager Christina Choy even claimed the hotel had such honest guests that ''we don't lose anything but a few shampoos and conditioners''. The Peninsula Hotel's guests were so honest, ''that although some of them slip our alarm clocks into their cases by accident, a lot of them send them back as soon as they realise'', said PR manager Elaine Simmonds. Patsy Chan at the Excelsior said the hotel's guests tended to have a penchant for taking face flannels as souvenirs, while Julie Amman at the Mandarin Oriental said the hotel's memorabilia losses were massively reduced when it began to offer all room items for sale in the lobby. She said she had heard that a desk had mysteriously disappeared from the Macau Mandarin, ''but we haven't lost anything that size in Hong Kong''. Out of all the hotels surveyed, the Ramada Renaissance hotel appeared to stock some of the items most attractive to guests. PR manager Giselle Kwan quoted from a monthly loss list which included about 40 ashtrays, 30 shoe horns and clothes-brushes, three silver ice buckets, two kimonos, several rubber bath mats and an occasional rubbish bin. But the last word on the matter surely came from the man at International Directory Inquiries when we asked for the number of the Ritz. ''You mean the Risk hotel?'' he asked.