MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A South Florida tourist who used Airbnb said he feels like he was taken advantage of by the home-rental service.
Ahmad Sayar, who was visiting from New York, spent the weekend in South Beach with a few friends. Instead of getting a hotel, they opted for Airbnb, a service in which people rent out their homes for short-term deals.
"I went out Saturday night, ended up coming back home to an apartment that was broken into," Sayar told Local 10 News.
Sayar said it wasn't his first time using the service, which found them an apartment at Eighth Street and Jefferson Avenue.
"After this, I'm not sure," he said.
Just after midnight, someone knew Sayar and his friends were away.
"They stole a bunch from us -- I mean, a couple of laptops, iPads, clothes, medication, jewelry, watches, rings," Sayar said. "I mean, you name it. They took it all."
The police report values the stolen property at nearly $11,000, leaving the tourists disappointed during what was supposed to be a fun-filled week on the beach.
Sayar said it appeared that the burglar or burglars used a crowbar to get inside through a window.
"Over 80 million guests have spent the night in an Airbnb, and incidents like these are incredibly rare," Airbnb spokesman Nick Papas said. "Our dedicated trust and safety team is working directly with the guest to resolve this matter."
Sayar said he received a partial refund, but he now has to return home without those pricey belongings.
"You feel violated. You feel a little loss," he said. "You feel confused as to why this happened, how you let it happen. You know, you question whether or not maybe staying at a hotel is the best option when you're going on vacation."