A security camera captured a naked man walking up to a house in Ottawa on an April night and stealing a Canadian flag attached to a front porch.
The episode was one of a rash of incidents that have hit a downtown neighbourhood in the nation’s capital since five of short-term rental “ghost hotels” have opened there, according to CBC News.
A motion sensor camera caught the naked man sauntering along the street at night before snatching the flag and returning towards one of the rental units.
Local residents said there have also been recent instances of theft and prostitution on their street since the properties in question became Airbnb properties.
“It’s really frustrating that the neighbours are the ones who have to monitor the situation and try to enforce some sort of decent behaviour,” resident Kate Laing told CBC. “The Airbnb owners make a lot of profit on their properties, and yet it’s the city who is paying the money to have the police and bylaw attend on a regular basis.”
In another incident, residents said they saw two men swapping the licence plate on a car parked outside at night and then getting into a fight.
“They threatened to shoot someone, and we called the police and then the police came and found out that the car was actually stolen, and so these men were arrested for auto theft,” Laing said.
In a statement sent to CBC, an Airbnb spokesperson said the company wants “to do everything we can to help our community members be good neighbours in the places they call home. We are actively investigating these listings.”
When contacted by CBC, one of the property’s owners refused to comment and another did not respond to requests for an interview.