Florida Airbnb host hid cameras, mics in vacation rental: police
Authorities from the Longboat Key Police Department said homeowner Wayne Natt, 56, admitted to rigging up the camera system with the intent to film consensual sex parties.
“[Natt] says that everyone videoed had knowledge he was videoing them,” said Lt. Bob Bourque to NBC-affiliate WESH. “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 for recording sexual activity.”
Derek Starnes and his wife Jennifer weren’t aware of the recording devices until Starnes noticed the black dot on the smoke detector. He opened it up and found the camera and microphone, then reported it to police.
According to NBC-affiliate WFLA, Natt claims the cameras were not activated when his home was occupied by tenants.
ABC Action News reported that the smoke detector camera was not only recording the Indiana couple, but streaming live video.
“My wife and I are distressed by this situation. I hope more victims will come forward,” said Starnes.
“We seized a lot of computer storage devices, hard drives, computers, laptops, SD cards – anything that would store data,” said Borque. “We don’t know if there are local victims. Someone who may have been dating him or a companion that doesn’t realize they are being videotaped, and then we have the other side of who he rented through Airbnb.”
Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the people on the tapes, which date as far back as 2008.
“Who knows what [the footage] is being used for, so it’s very concerning,” said Borque.
An Airbnb spokesperson said that they are cooperating with the investigation.
“We are outraged at the reports of what happened; as soon as we were made aware, we permanently banned this individual from our community and fully supported the affected guests. Our team has reached out to local law enforcement to aid them with their investigation of this egregious offense and we hope justice is served. We take privacy issues extremely seriously and have a zero-tolerance policy against this behaviour.”
Police said Natt has been released on bond but could be facing more charges as the investigation continues.Follow @jennynotjen
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