MOUNTAIN VIEW (KRON) — A man has been arrested who allegedly burglarized an apartment in Mountain View after he canceled an Airbnb reservation for the home, according to police.
David Lefevre, 35, is accused of renting out an apartment in the 100 block of Calderon Avenue through the online lodging rental website, suddenly canceling the reservation and soon after burglarizing the residence, police said.
The resident notified police on Aug. 11 to inform them that he received a call about someone who opened a credit account and information to pick up a new iPhone at a nearby AT&T store, according to police.
Detectives went to the store where they contacted and arrested Lefevre, whose car held many items from the Calderon Avenue residence, police said.
He was arrested on suspicion of residential burglary, possession of stolen property, identity theft, fraudulent use of a credit card and possession of someone else’s identification for the purpose of committing identity theft.
Similar alleged crimes have been reported around the Bay Area, which has prompted police to warn the public of the risks in short-term rentals through websites such as Airbnb.
Some thieves may look out for any signs in an online posting that certain areas of the home will be locked during the rental period, which may indicate where they can find any valuable property, police said.
Airbnb released a statement Tuesday saying it is very rare to have these types of incidents happen.
“Negative experiences are extremely rare as more than 100 million guest arrivals have had safe and positive experiences on Airbnb,” said Airbnb spokesman Nick Shapiro. “We have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior and have removed this guest from our platform. We are working with the police on this matter and are supporting the host under our $1 million host guarantee.”
Anyone renting out their home is advised keep their prized possessions such as jewelry and electronics in a safe or take out the items from the residence during the renters’ stay, according to police.
People are also encouraged to meet their renters in person to gage whether or not they’re suspicious and verify their identity, as many thieves use fraudulent names, police said.
Bay City News contributed to this report