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Minutes after checking into their B.C. Airbnb, this U.S. couple’s valuables were gone

A U.S. couple visiting Vancouver in early July told Global News they had an unwelcome arrival when they checked into their Airbnb in North Vancouver.

They were checking in late on July 2 after meeting up with some friends and after some searching they were able to locate the home on 18th Street, just a few blocks from Lonsdale.

“Initially, I had my backpack, my fiancé had his backpack, and I had my purse, which had my wallet, and my backpack had all the other stuff, including my digital SLR camera and the car keys, and a bunch of other stuff,” Madhuchhanda Manda,l a tourist from Indianapolis, told Global News.

“My fiance’s backpack had his essentials and his laptop.”

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As the suitcases were heavy and it was late, the couple decided to put these smaller bags in the Airbnb and go back to their car to get the suitcases.

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Mandal said they did question if they should have left the back door unlocked while getting their suitcases but said it seemed like a quiet and safe neighbourhood and they were only gone about four minutes.

But when they went back into the house and couldn’t find their backpacks and smaller bags, they realized they had been robbed.

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“Somebody came in within a matter of three to four minutes,” Mandal said.

“Somebody came in, walked right in, took things, and they could tell that there were important stuff in there, and they just dashed off to the back door.”

Mandal said that in all their travels, they had never encountered anything like what happened in North Vancouver.

We travel a lot and I’m usually careful with my stuff,” she said.

“I have never lost a single document in my so many years of travel… We’ve been to the Caribbean. We were recently in Morocco. We go to India twice a year.”

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Mandal said she called 911 but was told it wasn’t an emergency, so she called the North Vancouver RCMP non-emergency line and gave them a detailed account of what happened.

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She said some RCMP officers came to see them about an hour and a half later.

They did have surveillance footage of the suspect and that was shared with the police.

“Somebody must have seen our lights go on as soon as we entered the property, like, you know, and then put our stuff, watched us, came, knew that it was just the two of us,” Mandal said.

“And when we went back out in the front, took that moment of opportunity within a matter of like three or four minutes.”

While the couple was able to get emergency passports issued by the U.S. consulate, they had to spend hours of their vacation cancelling credit cards and freezing bank accounts and were not able to enjoy the things they had planned.

“I had never felt so helpless before,” Mandal said. “Ever. I’m not even kidding. I felt like, I don’t know, I felt devastated, devastated, and I know that I’m a kind of a person who bounces back and I’m a fighter.

“I have gone through the wringer, but at that minute I felt so helpless and I felt like, how am I even ever going to go back home?”

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Mandal said she didn’t feel safe in B.C. after what happened.

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However, it wouldn’t stop her from coming back again.

“It’s so beautiful,” she said.

“It’s like nature’s got nothing to do against man. This could have happened and in any other city, doesn’t make this city unworthy. Like the the beauty and the nature of it.”

Mandal said she would like to visit again and not have something like this incident become a vacation memory.

North Vancouver RCMP said they have no leads at this time and are asking the public to help identify the suspect.


&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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