NewsLocal News


Police: Man rented Tallahassee Airbnb, looted home during stay

Posted at 11:05 AM, Jun 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-12 19:35:25-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A fugitive has been arrested after he allegedly rented an Airbnb in Tallahassee and raided the home, stealing more than $32,000 worth of electronics and two guns.

Joseph Pierre, 20, has been charged with grand theft (more than $20,000, less than $100,000) and grand theft of a firearm.

According to complaint documents, the host of an Airbnb rental in Tallahassee contacted the Tallahassee Police Department on April 1 about a delayed burglary at a home on North Bronough Street.

The victim told officers that he used Airbnb to lease his home while he was away for a few days. The victim said that he had met with the renter the afternoon of March 29 and and gave him full access to the home. However, when the victim returned home, he noticed several items, including several televisions, high-end electronics and two guns, were missing.

The total value of the stolen property was estimated at $32,521.

During the suspect's stay, documents say the victim was notified about a video game purchase on his Xbox via email. The victim also said that the suspect left a toothbrush, empty food cans, and beer containers in the home.

Investigators were also able to review Ring surveillance footage that captured a man knocking on two neighbors' front doors. In another clip, a car was captured driving to the back of the home where that same man, followed by an unknown woman, exited the vehicle and entered the victim's home. However, the surveillance footage didn't capture any property being removed from the home.

Documents say the victim identified the man in the surveillance footage as the same man he met with on March 29.

On April 29, investigators got results from a fingerprint collection done at the victim's home. The results connected the fingerprints to Joseph Pierre, who was listed as a fugitive on the Florida Department of Corrections website for failure to appear on a charge of possession of cannabis with intent to sell. While police were investigating, they discovered that Pierre was also a suspect in another Airbnb theft where his fingerprints were also found.

Based on the evidence, officers found probable cause to charge Pierre with grand theft and grand theft of a firearm.

He was taken into custody on Tuesday and was booked into the Leon County Detention Facility where he is being held on a $20,000 bond.

Airbnb said they have banned Pierre and is supporting the host with their $1 Million Host Guarantee process.