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Airbnb Unit Stripped Of Stuff By Thieving Renters

Summit County Sheriff's Office

The Summit County Sheriff’s office got a report last week that the rental of a unit on Airbnb went bad, as thousands of dollars’ worth of appliances and furniture were stolen.

Officers received a complaint about a townhouse unit at NewPark which was rented out from November 4th to the 7th. Sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Wright said that on the morning of the 7th, a property manger conducted a customary inspection of the unit, within an hour after the renter checked out, and found it was stripped of a lot of items.

“So, we’re talking washer, dryer, a mattress, three televisions, they actually took off the thermostat for the furnace one of the smart thermostats, that was taken out of the wall. They took a lot of kitchenware items, utensils, blenders, pots and pans.”

The value of the missing items was placed at $8-10,000. The renter was allegedly a male from Florida. An investigation is still underway to find the suspect, who rented online from Airbnb.

“In order to rent you have to set-up a profile and whether or not this profile was a legitimate profile that’s what we’re looking into. As you know with anything when it comes to technology and online interactions people can disguise themselves. That’s part of the first thing is to determine whether or not this was a legitimate name that was provided through Airbnb. Part of our investigation of course is working with Airbnb to determine where this profile was set up and if they have any kind of process where they validate a profile for someone that rents out property.”

Lt. Wright said the owner can also take action through the rental company.

“When you rent out specifically with Airbnb they have a process where you can report any kind of damage or loss, theft type of circumstance to Airbnb. They have a process that you follow. I’m not sure exactly on that process but I believe that it gives the renter 72 hours to dispute what the property owner is stating happened at the property. On our end of course we’ve got to try and track down who this renter was and that includes us working with Airbnb to try and locate this individual and have a discussion with them to see exactly what happened.”

Turning to another incident, officers discovered an unusual DUI case in Coalville during Sunday night the 11th. They got a report of a vehicle in the middle of Center Street.

Officers found the vehicle had a flat tire and had been driven on the rim for an unknown distance. Two males with the vehicle were trying to push it off the road.

One of the men, the registered owner, said he not only had a flat tire but was out of gas. He was reportedly intoxicated, loud and obnoxious, and tried to get into another unlocked vehicle, believing it was his. The owner, identified as a 24-year-old Coalville resident, was arrested.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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