SAN FRANCISCOS (CBS SF) – While short-term rentals have become a common way to make extra cash, a San Francisco woman’s horror story may make some hosts think twice.

Pamela Kelly told KPIX 5 the customer turned into the vacation home renter from hell.

“So this was a rude awakening for me,” explained Kelly. “There were empty needles or needle cases. There was also blood left on the comforter in the master bedroom.”

Kelly just started renting her luxury Turk Street apartment on the website in May. She said she has had a pleasant experience until this past weekend when she came home to signs of drug use and considerable theft.

“In my safe was about $68,000 worth of jewelry. Some of it was my mother’s. It was irreplaceable,” Kelly lamented.

The renter used a stolen credit card and a fake ID that Kelly said checked out during the screening process. She said she thinks theft was the plan all along

“This person was skilled. He was very methodical and this was planned out, there is no doubt,” said Kelly.

Police told KPIX 5 at this point they don’t have any information that’s releasable to the public about the investigation. But they do have advice about security that Kelly has personally taken to heart.

“I can totally understand her frustration,” said SFPD Public Information Officer Robert Rueca. “We do recommend taking the steps to protect yourself we do recommend having surveillance video.”

The suspect is still currently being sought by police.

In a city where home rentals are increasingly common, she worries she won’t be the only target.

“I’m extremely concerned for other homeowners who are contemplating doing this or who are doing this who think they are okay and safe,” said Kelly.

Kelly is hoping that the blood left behind by the thief might turn up the suspect through a DNA match in the SFPD database, leading to a quick identification and, hopefully, an arrest.


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