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

Artist Mike Dangeli gives his son, Hayetsk, a shoulder ride on Oct. 4. (Mike Dangeli/Instagram)
Skeena Voices | ‘The culture and the art saved my life’

Terrace-based artist shares stories of the journey that brought him here

The City of Terrace now requires masks at all indoor City facilities. (File Photo)
Masks to be required in all indoor City of Terrace facilities

Requirement comes as B.C. sees increase in COVID-19 cases

Northern Health saw 14 cases in one day earlier this week, the highest in one day since the beginning of the pandemic. (Image courtesy CDC)
Northern Health sees highest number of new COVID-19 cases in one day

Oct. 27 saw the highest number of new cases in the Health Authority since the start of the pandemic

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Most Read