*EDITOR'S NOTE: 11Alive is not naming the homeowner for his protection.
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. – When a homeowner walked into the room he rents out to Airbnb guests, the bed was made and online, he received a great review. But what he wasn’t expecting was the package he received on behalf of his guest.
“He left a very favorable review and he didn't mention anything about the incident,” the homeowner said about his guest.
Airbnb. It’s a pretty simple concept. You rent someone’s home or a room in their home for a fee, much like a hotel, but in the comfort of someone else’s home. But for this homeowner, one guest last week got a little too comfortable in his digs, sending a package for himself to the residence, expecting the homeowner to sign for it.
Last Friday, he was home and sound asleep when the Gwinnett County Police started pounding on his door, asking about a package. Police told him someone had sent two pounds of marijuana to his home, under a name he didn't recognize.
But moments after the police left with the drugs in hand, he saw a text from the man renting his room through Airbnb that he was expecting a package.
“My immediate thought is I need to get out of here,” he said.
He left his house and called police.
By the time he got home, the man renting his room had left.
“I haven't touched the room since he left in case the police need to come back for something,” the homeowner promised.
A week later, however, he’s still on edge about the whole thing, looking through closets incessantly.
“I'm almost at the point where I just don't want to live here. I want to go somewhere else and stay at night,” said the homeowner, who now fears for his safety. “It's a constant fear that's better during the day, but at night, the slightest noise makes me jump.”
Airbnb responded about the incident in a statement, saying that they have banned the renter from using their site, and are working with the homeowner to replace the locks.
"There have been over 140 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings and negative incidents are extremely rare, but when they happen, we work to make things right. We have no tolerance for this type of behavior, we have removed the guest from our platform and have offered our full support to the host. The safety of the Airbnb community is the single most important thing we work on every day."
But for, this homeowner, it’s not a chance he wants to take again.
“I just can't even fathom in my mind doing that again. It's just too scary.”
Police say this is still an open investigation, but they say to always be careful who you give the keys to your home to.
A lesson learned the hard way for this homeowner.
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