From booked to broken: Property managers are fed up with thieves targeting Airbnbs

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NASHVILLE, Tenn., (WKRN) — They went from being completely booked to broken into. It’s proof COVID-19 has impacted the Airbnb industry in Nashville in more ways than one.

Since March, rental property owners and managers have been struggling to find business due to Nashville’s lack of tourists. Now, several of these property managers are also dealing with brazen thieves.

“We had a street of eight to ten homes they hit all in one day,” Emily Stewart said, property manager. “They took bedroom suites, appliances, tv’s.”

Stewart said the break-ins and thefts have mostly taken place at properties on two streets in City Heights in North Nashville.

Stewart said the thieves broke-in in broad daylight. They ignored cameras and alarms. Now, she wants more to be done to stop them.

“We have them on camera. We have license plates, addresses. We know where these people are so I don’t know why they aren’t locking them up,” Stewart said.

Chris Muscatello, owner of Ashwood Holdings LLC wants the problem resolved now. He’s seen six break-ins in four months.

“It has been an ongoing issue with local criminals scouting out the house make sure nobody is around break through the windows, through the front door,” Muscatello said. “We’d like more frequent patrolling in these areas where there are properties at risk because the last thing we want is for someone to be in one of these properties when a break in occurs.”

News 2 reached out to Metro Police Department Tuesday. They responded with this statement:

“Detectives are pursuing strong leads in the case,” Kris Mumford said with MNPD.

“There are also outstanding warrants for a second suspect who we are working to locate. He is a person of interest in several more break-ins.”

From the North Precinct Investigative Lieutenant Donald Ryan Scott:

“Detectives obtained 3 separate aggravated burglary warrants and 2 separate vandalism warrants on XXX; all from the same complex on XX Ave N.  And, all 3 burglaries are Air B&B properties. All warrants are still outstanding at this time”.

“And just “knowing who they are” is not enough reason to arrest a suspect. Unfortunately, many of these properties don’t have any surveillance cameras or security systems. Detectives are working hard on these cases as well as many more criminal cases. North Precinct Commander Terrence Graves is very aware of these break-ins, and he has put resources in those areas to deter future break-ins and work to capture suspects.”

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