About $60,000 worth of valuables that had been left locked in a cabinet at an Alhambra home rented through Airbnb were stolen late last year, the homeowner told KTLA Thursday.
The home was also left in disarray and the homeowners discovered that those responsible weren't renters at all, but part of an elaborate crime ring, police told them.
The residents said they filed a claim with Airbnb, which offered them $4,000, but were told they had 48 hours to respond to the offer or it would be void.
The couple did not respond in time because they were looking for receipts for the stolen items, so they did not receive any compensation for their lost items, they told KTLA.
Jerry Fan said he and his wife started renting out their two-bedroom two-bathroom home near downtown Alhambra last year.
Fan said he and his wife had great guests until late November. When they returned home, they found animal feces, soiled sheets, bed sheets torn and stuffed in the toilets and cigarette butts on furniture.
The items that were stolen from the cabinet in their garage included purses, camera and computer equipment, jewelry, personal documents and cash.
Fan said the thieves also stole their mail and filled out credit card applications.
When Fan and his wife filled out a police report, he said officers weren’t surprised to see the extensive damage.
“It’s confirmed. This is a professional criminal ring. They're using hacked accounts and hacked credit cards and taking advantage of welcoming hosts,” Fan said.
Fan said he wants others to learn from his experience. He advises other renters to remove valuables from their home and to meet potential renters in person. In addition, he encourages renters to save receipts from all items in the event that something is stolen.
Airbnb officials told KTLA they have no tolerance for this type of behavior and have banned the guest allegedly responsible for the mess at Fan's home. Airbnb officials are also working with Fan and have reopened the case so the renters can file a claim and recuperate what they lost.