An Airbnb guest found himself swept up in a manhunt when the LAPD came knocking at his short term rental apartment, looking to arrest the previous tenant. Video: Yossi Rossenberg via Facebook
AN AIRBNB guest found himself swept up in a manhunt when the LAPD came knocking at his short term rental apartment.
New Yorker Yossi Rosenberg, who paid $US800 to stay at the property — which had “overwhelmingly” positive reviews — got a fright when a SWAT team showed up on Wednesday.
And he had some explaining to do, after initially telling two cops that he knew a woman called “Ashley” when they showed up looking for her on Monday.
Back home, he said, tough new bylaws mean that short-term guests risk being turfed out by the New York City’s anti-Airbnb taskforce.
“If you get a knock on the door and they ask ‘are you a friend of so-and-so?’, you have to say ‘yes’, otherwise they’ll kick you out of the apartment,” he explained.
But it wasn’t a municipal taskforce that appeared at the door, and the LAPD officers said they had a warrant out for the woman’s arrest.
The stunned New Yorker, who was in LA on business, captured the incident on his camera phone and posted a video to Facebook with the caption: “Had a really ‘authentic’ Los Angeles experience this morning at my Airbnb.”
He was forced to admit that he actually had no idea who “Ashley” was — and that he was renting the apartment on Airbnb.
“I’m trying to explain to you what’s going on,” one of the policemen can be heard saying in the clip. “The girl who was here before you, we have a warrant for her arrest.”
Mr Rosenberg said the man who rented him the apartment was an Airbnb “superhost” with glowing reviews.
“When the cops first came I thought it was a mistake or something, I contacted the host and he just said ‘that’s weird, nothing like that has ever happened before’,” he told news.com.au.
“Then a whole SWAT team showed up, like 10 cops. They were like ‘where’s the girl?’ That’s when I realised ‘this has nothing to do with Airbnb, they’re looking for a criminal’ … You could tell it was serious.”
He said the officers were polite and understanding once he explained the situation.
“They just looked around the apartment and left,” he said.
The experience has not dampened Mr Rosenberg’s enthusiasm for Airbnb, which he has used as both a host and a guest.
“Airbnb is a great company and a great service,” he said.
News.com.au has reached out to the LAPD for comment.