Victoria Police arrested two men in relation to an AirBnB scam. (Black Press Media File Photo)

Two arrested after man lies about COVID-19 illness to stay in Victoria Airbnb for free

Victoria Police found stolen goods inside the occupied unit

Two men were arrested after lying about having COVID-19 to stay for free in an AirBnB unit, where they hoarded stolen property, according to Victoria Police Department.

On March 28 Victoria police officers were called to a multi-unit residential building in the 600-block of Herald Street after an owner became suspicious about an AirBnB guest staying in their unit.

ALSO READ: Worried about your vacation amid the COVID-19 pandemic? Here’s what you can cancel

The guest had refused to leave, telling the owner he had contracted COVID-19 and was experiencing severe symptoms.

The owner initially allowed the man to stay free of charge, but grew suspicious after observing him leaving the building.

When police arrived they learned that the man had not, in fact, ever had a test for COVID-19, and was not experiencing any symptoms.

When they escorted him back to the unit to gather his belongings they found a second man inside who had warrants for his arrest, alongside several thousand dollars’ worth of stolen property.

Both men denied any knowledge of the stolen property, which was seized.

ALSO READ: Accent Inns, United Way team up to cover hotel costs for Greater Victoria essential service workers

Both men were arrested and the man with warrants was transferred to the Saanich Police Department.

AirBnB has been made aware of the situation, and has removed the booking guest from its community.

“The reported behaviour is completely unacceptable, and we are in touch with our host as well as Victoria Police to offer our full support,” said spokesperson Charlie Urbancic in an emailed statement.

VicPD is warning AirBnB owners and members of the public to be aware of scammers attempting to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anyone with information about this incident or another AirBnB COVID-19 scam can call the VicPD non-emergency line at 250-995-7654. To report anonymously people can call the Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-2220-8477.

vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
and Instagram

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mission will begin reopening process on June 1

Part of Municipal Hall to open, plans in works for Welton Common, RCMP and fire station front desks

Potential for gravel removal this summer in Chilliwack has riled river stewards

Group says no ‘discernible merit’ for gravel mining when balanced off with the environmental damage

New book details 1893 murder in Abbotsford and 2 trials that followed

Farmer John Marshall was found dead on his Sumas Prairie property

Harrison Hot Springs Resort eases in to reopening

Reservations available Friday, May 29

Mission’s outdoor farmer’s market to return on June 6

The market will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday until Oct. 3

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The importance of accurate, ethical reporting is critical – perhaps as never before

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Officials looking for answers after Abbotsford football star found dead in Sask. lake

Saskatchewan Health Authority looking into circumstances surrounding Samwel Uko’s hospital visit

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

Most Read