This article first appeared in VICE Canada.
Airbnb sure started out as a nice thought didn't it?
Help some strangers out while making a little cash on the side, you know, it was win-win, what could go wrong? Well, the problem is that Airbnb is used by humans and humans cannot be trusted.
Take what just happened to Matthew Lyn, a well-known photographer in Toronto, for example. Earlier in the month, Lyn rented out his apartment on Airbnb to a man, woman, and small child (I assume the child was the mastermind of the bullshit they pulled.) Lyn described the crew as what he thought to be a "nice family." When he returned to the apartment after their visit, it was in shambles.
"My door was already open, all the lights were on. It was a mess, all my dishes were used, there were towels on the floor, condoms lying about … It was terrible," Lyn told the CBC.
Looking past the mess the apparent threesome had left, they stole almost everything that wasn't nailed down in the apartment. Lyn's Ipad, Ipods, hard drives, Nintendo Wii, professional cameras, credit cards, and even his drone was taken. They even took his groceries and toiletries.
Most worryingly though, Lyn's SIN card was taken.
Lyn doesn't really know if it was a family that rented the apartment because you don't have to do a face to face to rent an Airbnb. While the person that Lyn was corresponding with said she was a woman after reviewing the security camera in his apartment, he only saw a man entering. Furthermore, whoever it was that did the damage may not have been Einstein.
"The police arrived the next day and fingerprinted everything that they felt had left a strong fingerprint on. They've dealt with this situation via Airbnb before," wrote Lyn in a Facebook post after the theft. "They left stupid things laying around my apartment like receipts, documents with their names on it."
"Whether that will lead to a legitimate discovery is unsure but I feel these criminals may not have been the most intelligent."
In total, the shit that was stolen from his place cost $21,000. Lyn said that Airbnb was going to reimburse him the full amount through their host guarantee program. However, Lyn makes his living as a photographer and has worked with the likes of Daniel Radcliffe, Paris Hilton, Carmen Electra and the like, and the hard drives Lyn lost had a plethora of work on them.
So, long story short, humanity sucks and don't trust strangers.
Photo composited from images via Wikipedia Commons and Flickr user Bruce Guenter.
Follow Mack on Twitter.