Indiana couple discover hidden camera in Airbnb bedroom
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be out of date. Please look at the timestamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
LONGBOAT KEY, Fla. – An Indiana couple, renting an Airbnb on Longboat Key, said they noticed something weird about one of the smoke detectors in the master bedroom, according to WFTS.
Then they realized it was actually a camera disguised as a smoke detector and pointed directly at their bed.
Derek Starnes told WFTS by phone that he and his wife are freaked out by what happened.
Starnes said he worked in the tech world and noticed a black hole on the side of the smoke detector. He removed it and realized that this black hole was a camera recording on an SD card. Starnes immediately called the police.
“We seized numerous computer data storage devices, hard drives, computers, laptops, SD cards, anything that could store data,” Lt. Bob Bourque said. “We don’t know if there are local victims, someone who may have dated or a mate who doesn’t realize they’re being videotaped, and then we have the other side from whom he rented through Airbnb.”
Wayne Natt, 56, was arrested and charged with one count of video voyeurism. Bourque said Natt’s account had been active on Airbnb for two years. Starnes said he has over 40 reviews on Airbnb.
Starnes shared a photo he pulled from the device that shows him and his wife staring at the camera. Starnes hopes other people who have rented from Natt at 623 Cedars Court in Longboat Key will come forward. Starnes said he knew the video captured him walking around the bedroom naked.
“My wife and I are devastated by this situation. I hope more victims will come forward,” Starnes said.
After Natt was arrested, police said he gave a statement to them in the presence of his lawyer. Bourque said he told them everyone gave him consent to be filmed and he admitted there were dozens of videos of people engaged in sex parties he was hosting at home .
“He says everyone being filmed knew he was filming them,” Bourque said. What we said to that was… if people are consenting to recording sexual activity, why is it hidden in a smoke alarm? He said it was to record sexual activity.
Bourque said the reason Natt hid him in the ceiling “was because it gave him a better angle.”
WFTS has contacted Airbnb for comment. An Airbnb representative, Ben Breit, sent us a statement:
“We are outraged by the reports of what happened; As soon as we were made aware of this, we permanently banned this individual from our community and fully supported the affected guests. Our team has contacted local law enforcement to assist in their investigation of this egregious violation and we hope justice will be served. We take privacy issues very seriously and have a zero tolerance policy against this behavior.
Police are urging anyone who has rented from Natt on Airbnb or was inside her apartment to contact them.
Suggest a fix
Comments are closed.