Airbnb host ripped off by customers twice in one week

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A man who wanted us to only identify him as "Gilbert" says he was hoping to make a little extra money renting out his Northwest Fresno home on Airbnb, but what he got was way more than he bargained for.

He now has a warning for other Airbnb hosts, "If you have valuables put them away. Lock them somewhere, and even if you lock them in a personal closet, they'll still break in somehow, which they did to me."

Gilbert says he was ripped off by separate Airbnb customers twice in a week. Items were stolen, and his home was destroyed, causing thousands of dollars in damages and stolen property.

"A lot of personal items got stolen from me. $7,000 to $9,000 got taken from my personal items."

Among the missing items, sports memorabilia, jewelry, and a religious piece with deep sentimental value.

"A Tony Romo jersey, signed, and his playing pants, the pants that he played with. Watches that were personal to me, and cross from my fiance that passed away two years ago which meant a lot to me."

Gilbert says a lot of the missing valuables were locked away in a closet, but that didn't stop the crooks.

"They had to break into the closet and when I went in there, was a mess with a lot of items missing."

Person of interest in Airbnb burglary case.

Detectives now want to talk to a man captured on surveillance cameras being allowed into the home just before the second burglary was committed.

Fresno Police say the suspects are facing grand theft and burglary charges.

"Get as much background on a person you are renting to as you can," says Fresno Police Lt. Mark Hudson. "Get a copy of their drivers license, get a photo of their license plate, and their car. Just try to get as much information as you can and be real cautious."

Airbnb is aware of Gilbert's claims and is investigating the case along with the help of Fresno Police.

"It's a risky business. No matter what you do in business, people are always looking to rob you, but when they start robbing personal items from you, it is sentimental."

We reached out to Airbnb about Gilbert's claims, and a spokesperson provided this statement:

"There have been over 300 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings to date and negative incidents are extremely rare. We have zero tolerance for this type of behavior. We have permanently banned these individuals from our platform, are fully supporting our host, and have reached out to law enforcement to offer our assistance. The safety of our community is our priority."
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