Vacation Rentals? You Will Want To Check Out All Smoke Detectors After What This Couple Found


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LONGBOAT KEY, Fla.- Unfortunately there are many sick people out there in this world, and it can take a pretty observant eye to catch some of the sick surprises that those people unknowingly have in store for us.

Such was the case when Derek Starnes and his wife made a trip from Indiana to Longboat Key Florida.

According to WFTS, upon renting a condo through Airbnb, Starnes and his wife noticed something weird about the smoke detector in the master bedroom. After a close inspection they realized that the smoke detector was not at all what it appeared to be, yet it was actually a hidden camera, that was pointing right at their bed.

With just cause the couple were freaked out by what they saw.

Starnes said he works in the tech world and noticed a black hole on the side of the smoke detector. He took it down and realized that that black hole was a camera recording onto an SD card. He immediately called the police.

“We seized a lot of computer storage data devices, hard drives, computers, laptops SD cards anything that would store data,” Lt. Bob Bourque said. “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 to through Airbnb.”

Wayne Natt, 56, was arrested and charged with one count of video voyeurism.

Scary part, Bourque said Natt’s account has been active on Airbnb for two years. He had more than 40 reviews on Airbnb. There is no telling how many people Natt has actually filmed.

Starnes has shared a photo taken off the device that shows the couple looking up at the camera in hopes that other people who have rented the same condo from Natt will recognize the room, located at 623 Cedars Court, and will come forward. Starnes knows for sure that the video at least captured him walking through the bedroom naked.

“My wife and I are distressed by this situation. I hope more victims will come forward,” Starnes said.

Even more disturbing is the statement that Natt gave the police with his attorney present. Natt told the police that everyone gave him consent to be filmed, and that there are dozens of videos of people engaged in sex parties that he hosted at the home.

“He says that everyone videoed had knowledge he was videoing 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 for recording sexual activity.”

Natt’s reason for hiding it in the ceiling?  It “gave him a better angle.”

WFTS reached out to Airbnb for comment. Representative Ben Breit sent them the following statement:

“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 behavior.”

Police are strongly urging anyone that rented from Natt on Airbnb, or has stayed in his condo, to contact them.

All I know is that I am now going to be checking smoke detectors for little black holes from now on. Will you?

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