Palo Alto property owner ambushed, robbed by Airbnb guests, police say

Bay Area

PALO ALTO (KRON) — It was an Airbnb rental gone wrong — this time on Tennyson Avenue in Palo Alto.  

Police say a Bay Area man rented his place supposedly to two people, but late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, the homeowner was alerted the smoke detector was going off in his rental property, so he drove there and found a party going on.

“There’s 30 to 40 people there. He’s surprised, he entered and said you need to leave, some agree to leave, others refuse to leave,” said Palo Alto Police Spokesperson Janine de la Vega. 

Police say two of the guests then pushed him to the ground and stole his phone and wallet.

Another guest helped get them back but as he was calling police he was confronted by a third person.

“As he is calling 911, he is approached by another suspect and pushed to the ground, they take his cell phone while he is calling 911 and take cash out of his front pocket,” the spokesperson said.

When police arrived, party guests were leaving.  

The property owner, who’s in his 60’s, was not seriously injured but police are asking anyone with information about the three suspects to come forward. 

Those who live on this street did not want to go on camera, but said they know of Airbnb’s on this street and have had little problem in the last.  

In a statement Airbnb said: “The reported behavior is appalling, and we have removed the booking guest from the Airbnb community. We are providing our full support to our host at this time, and we have proactively reached out to  Palo Alto Police to offer our assistance in their investigation.”

Palo Alto Police also saying if you are a property owner in a similar circumstance, feel free to call police before entering the property especially if you feel you might be threatened or assaulted.  

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