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

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

Emma Nunn from Alberni Valley Rescue Squad waits at the summit of Mount Arrowsmith for the rest of the AVRS rope rescue team on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY DAVE POULSEN, AVRS)
UPDATE: Injured hikers among three rescued in the dark from Mount Arrowsmith

‘It was a very bad, very precarious spot to be able to locate them’

Parksville Fire Department crews attended the scene of a house fire on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 at the end of Foster Place in Parksville. No injuries were reported. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Fire crews called to battle house fire in Parksville

No injuries reported, kitty rescued

Kim Burden, executive director of the Parksville and District and Qualicum Beach Chambers of Commerce. (PQB News photo)
PQBeat: Chamber of Commerce executive director Kim Burden looks ahead

Podcast: Talk includes 2021 business plans in Parksville, Qualicum Beach, events and more

The Village Way and Highway 19A roundabout is the Town of Qualicum Beach priority for a grant application. (Google Map)
Qualicum Beach council favours roundabout over turf field project

Mayor believes road project has better chance of landing grant

Curling season is over at the Parksville Curling Club and Qualicum Beach Curling Club. (PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: Parksville and Qualicum Beach curling clubs forced to end season

Restrictions impact financial sustainability of both operations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Most Read