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Man arrested in connection to Airbnb burglary

 

Mountain View police are warning residents that a growing number of criminals are using Airbnb as a way to burglarize homes in the Bay Area, including a recent heist earlier in the Old Mountain View neighborhood.

At the beginning of August, police say 35-year-old David Lefevre rented an apartment on Calderon Avenue through Airbnb, and cancelled the reservation shortly before he was scheduled to stay in the home. Soon after the cancellation, the apartment was burglarized and several items taken from the home, according to police.

The residents of the home called police on Aug. 11 after Lefevre allegedly opened a credit account and tried to purchase a new iPhone at a local AT&T store. Detectives went to the store, found Lefevre and arrested him after finding a majority of the items stolen from the apartment in his car. Lefevre was arrested on charges of residential burglary, identity theft, possession of stolen property and fraudulent use of a credit card. He was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail on a $145,000 bail.

Police are advising residents to avoid leaving anything valuable in homes that they rent out through Airbnb, including jewelry, portable electronics and personal, important documents including passports and Social Security cards. Anything valuable in the house should be stowed away in a safe attached to the floor of the home. Residents are also advised to meet with the temporary renters ahead of time and verify their identities with a driver's license.

Comments

16 people like this
Posted by CommonSenseFolks
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Aug 23, 2016 at 1:59 pm

AirB&E.


13 people like this
Posted by no airbnb for me
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 23, 2016 at 2:01 pm

This service is so sketchy. You knew stuff like this was going to happen.


14 people like this
Posted by Well duh.
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 23, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Of course this happened. It'll happen again and I won't be shocked then either.

I love the idea of using Air B&B. I'm just glad people are nuts enough to rent their houses out to perfect strangers and assume all these risks so I can save a few bucks.
Cheap stay for me, all the risk is on them. Go for it people.


22 people like this
Posted by Boberto
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 23, 2016 at 2:28 pm

My wife and I have used AirBnB in numerous places all over the world. It's become our first stop when looking on the internet for a place to stay while away from home. Sometimes the owners are there, sometimes not. We have never had a bad experience. In fact most of the people we stayed with treated us like old friends, filling us with all sorts of local knowledge that only a local could give. It's not perfect and there are always going to be some bad experiences because that's what people like Mr LeFevre live for, but just be careful and practice common sense and you should have a good experience.


11 people like this
Posted by It's not the renters, like Boberto, who worry
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 23, 2016 at 3:12 pm

For the homeowner it can end up even worse when the Airbnb renter does show up as contracted. Early this year there was that Oakland couple who returned to find their house hosting a wild party with scores of teenagers, when they'd supposedly rented it to responsible adults. Then, despite the extremity of the case, "it took nearly 14 hours to receive a phone call from Airbnb about the situation." Inexcusable. Nor was that case unique -- news reports describe several other party trashings by Airbnb renters around North America.


6 people like this
Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 23, 2016 at 4:39 pm

We have rented out our place to many different people and never had a problem. This article reminds us that we should all take sensible precautions, like read the reviews of potential guests/landlords and not leave valuables around. The vast majority of AirBnB guests and landlord are responsible, friendly people.

One should bear in mind that it's only news when the unexpected happens.


4 people like this
Posted by Not for me anymore
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 24, 2016 at 12:35 pm

I stepped away from listing my place on Airbnb after two issues, one regarding damage and another regarding a threat to my personal safety.
Both renters had very acceptable histories.
I might use them in the future to rent a place, but it would have to be the entire house.


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