Crime

Airbnb host says guest stole wife's purse, credit cards

Other hosts accuse same guest of theft

Airbnb Concerns

EL PASO, Texas - The holidays are just around just around the corner and that means booking travel and hotel plans.

Thousands of people will likely choose the route of booking a "rent-a-room service" via Airbnb, a popular website to book short-term rentals in other people's homes.

Airbnb is located throughout the world with more than 300 rental options in El Paso alone. Some borderland "hosts" are concerned after they claim a guest stole personal information. 

Several Airbnd hosts reached out to ABC-7, saying they have had to freeze credit cards and are worried what other personal information was stolen.
     
Christian Maldonado said his wife have been hosting guests from around the country for more than a year. 

They never had any issues up until last week, when they say a local guest stole his wife's wallet while they were away and charged nearly $500 worth of items on her credit card. 

The couple filed a police report an contacted other hosts, warning them about situation. Maldonado tells me that's when they learned several other hosts had the same issue with the same guest.

Now, they hope others will take caution before allowing guests inside their home:  

"I think, especially for my wife, because it was her personal information and just kind of the ripple affects it's caused us, the money, the time she's had to take off work, but also for me, seeing my wife frustrated with this stuff. it really puts us in a bad place," Air BnB host Christian Maldonado. 

ABC-7 is not identifying the suspected thief because he has not charged with a crime at this point.  

Laura Rillos, with Airbnb, emailed ABC-7 the following statement: 

"We have permanently banned this guest from our platform and we are assisting the authorities with their investigation. Airbnb runs background checks on all US hosts and guests and we are looking into what happened in this case. We are offering our full support to the affected hosts, including offering to pay for a year of credit monitoring and reimbursement for stolen items."
      
     


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