Owners are shocked to learn that Cooper-Young Airbnb rental is being used as a brothel
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A Memphis couple suffered the shock of their lives on Monday when they learned that the Cooper-Young house he had rented on Airbnb was the center of an alleged prostitution ring.
Police made five home arrests after neighbors counted at least 31 men since Friday.
A neighbor, who only wanted to be identified as Jeff, said he was having a Game of Thrones premiere party on Sunday when he noticed the strange comings and goings.
“For the first guys, I was like, ‘I don’t really see what I’m seeing here,’ but after a while it became pretty clear,” he said.
Police said a man named Travis Young had rented the property from the owners, who neighbors say are on vacation.
He then allegedly procured two women: Thalia Hecht and Shanice Johnson.
WREG has found ads on a number of sites featuring Hecht in provocative poses, promising “pure satisfaction” and “chill out with your new favorite (chat emoji)”.
She listed Cooper-Young as her location and even lists the same phone number Young used to rent the property.
“If you’re not – do your due diligence – and find out who you’re hiring from, especially short-term opportunities, I guess that’s what can happen,” neighbor Kevin Lambert said.
An Airbnb representative told WREG that renters and guests must undergo a background check in order to use the site.
Hecht allegedly charged $ 80 for a half hour and $ 120 for a full hour.
It added up.
Police said they found more than $ 4,000 in cash at the home as well as drugs and a gun they said could have been stolen.
Most worrying of all, the police also found three children in the house.
“If you come in here and try to do something stupid, you’re going to get caught,” Lambert warned. “Glad it’s all over.” We don’t need this mess on our street.
All three children are in the care of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.
Airbnb sent us the following statement:
“Airbnb has zero tolerance for this type of behavior and we are outraged by what would have happened. We immediately removed this user from our community and fully support our host. Airbnb is performing background checks on all U.S. residents using the platform and we are urgently investigating this matter in coordination with local law enforcement. “
They also provided the following tips to the hosts:
- Define the requirements for your ad:
Each person on Airbnb has a detailed profile page with information about themselves. To sign up for Airbnb, you must provide a full name, date of birth, photo, phone number, and email address. Hosts can choose to require their guests to provide official ID to Airbnb before booking their listing, which then requires you as the host to do so as well.
- Get to know your guest in advance:
On the Airbnb platform, we provide an easy and secure way for hosts to get to know their prospect before confirming a reservation. Our secure messaging tool allows you to ask yourself questions and set clear expectations for your stay.
- Read previous community reviews:
You can also count on our global community. If you’re curious about what a previous host’s experience has been with a potential guest, just check their comments ahead of time. Guests and Hosts review each other publicly and only do so after a booking is complete, so you know the reviews are informed, unbiased, and real.
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