An Indiana couple were ‘freaked out’ to find a hidden camera in the bedroom of their Florida Airbnb rental apartment.
Derek Starnes and his wife checked into a listing rented out by Wayne Natt, 56, at Cedars Court condo in Longboat Key, Florida.
They later noticed a black hole in the smoke detector in the master bedroom, and were extremely ‘distressed by this situation’, Starnes told ABC Action News.
When Starnes opened up the smoke detector, he found a camera and a microphone inside. There was another similar smoke detector in the living room.
Natt is alleged to have placed secret cameras in false smoke detectors to film his guests and has since been arrested and charged with video voyeurism, police say.
Natt, who lives in the home when no guests are present, claims he uses the cameras to record his own private sex parties and that all individuals attending such parties gave their consent to be videotaped.
Longboat Key Police Lt. Robert Bourque:
We did have the opportunity to analyze what was on the SD card and there are a couple of different people on them.
Our question is, if people are aware the cameras are there, why are they hidden in smoke alarms?
And his answer was – for a better angle.
Who knows what it’s being used for, so it’s very concerning. I suspect there are other victims, it’s just a matter of identifying them or not.
An Airbnb representative, Benjamin Breit, said in a statement that the company was ‘outraged’ and had ‘permanently banned’ Natt.
It further explains their ‘zero-tolerance’ stance on voyeurism:
Our team has reached out to local law enforcement to aid them with their investigation of this egregious offense and we hope justice is served.
We take privacy issues extremely seriously and have a zero-tolerance policy against this behavior.
Airbnb’s policy on surveillance devices states:
We require hosts to disclose all surveillance devices in their listings, and we prohibit any surveillance devices in certain private spaces (such as bedrooms and bathrooms) regardless of whether they’ve been disclosed.
Natt has been released on bond.
Meanwhile, UNILAD spoke to two British girls who went through a horrifying ordeal when they were allegedly threatened, assaulted and kidnapped.
Rae Breakwell and Paige Mitchell arrived at an Airbnb apartment in Marbella, to find this:
When we got in, the place stank of alcohol and the curtains were drawn. We were sitting on the sofa and then the cousin rang and got angry when we told him we were in the apartment.
We asked him what room we were in and he said ‘the one by the bathroom’ so we went in.
In the room were two girls passed out, they didn’t even move when I opened the door. I rang the owner and she had no idea whether another room had been booked.
We think now that the cousin had been partying in the room with the girls the night before, and that’s why he was being shady.
After a theft, and an altercation that left one of the girls locked in the flat, Rae managed to call the police and escape.
After numerous emails from Rae, Airbnb finally told UNILAD:
We have zero tolerance for this kind of behaviour and are providing the guests with our full support. The host has been suspended while we urgently investigate.
They added: ‘There have been over 200 million guest arrivals in listings and negative incidents like this are incredibly rare.’
A police report has been filed and the listing is no longer on Airbnb.