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

Numerous complaints have come into city hall about the “unsightly and unsafe” conditions of the fire-damaged house on Griffin Drive. (Paul Henderson/Chilliwack Progress)
Fire-damaged house poses ‘severe hazard’ to anyone entering it

Council eyes remediation order to demolish ‘unsafe’ and ‘unclean’ Chilliwack house

Organizers of the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival have decided to end the event after more than 20 years. / Bob Friesen File Photo
Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival cancelled – for good

Organizers say the event was so popular that too many people were attending to be sustainable

Owen Charpentier, 21, is charged with the Oct. 22, 2019 second-degree murder of Keith Baldwin in Chilliwack. (File)
Pre-trial dates set for Chilliwack man charged with Keith Baldwin’s murder

Owen Dale Charpentier accused in the fourth homicide of 2019 next in court June 2021

The 2020 Rotary Club of Chilliwack Book Sale is moving from Chilliwack Mall to Heritage Park to allow more room for physically-distanced shopping. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Rotary Book Sale moves from Chilliwack Mall to Heritage Park

The hugely-popular book sale is going ahead Oct. 25-31 with pandemic protocols in place

Massimo Rizzo (Penticton Vees, BCHL), middle, tries to out-maneuver two Team Canada East players during a preliminary game at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge. Team Canada West won the all-Canadian matchup 6-1.
Photo courtesy of Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images
Chilliwack Chiefs acquire Massimo Rizzo from Coquitlam Express

Chiefs hockey boss Brian Maloney has high expectations this season, and this trade is a sign of that

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Surrey teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Emergency crews shut down White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 after an altercation left an elderly man in critical condition. (File photo)
Trial dates set in White Rock manslaughter case

Proceedings against Ross Banner, 71, set for June 2021 in Surrey Provincial Court

Most Read