Texas Vacation Rental Host Accused of Spying on Guests With Camera Hidden in AC Adapter

Although popular vacation rental platforms have strict policies against hosts using hidden cameras, that hasn’t stopped some hosts from planting them.

Renting another person’s home can be a great way to have an affordable vacation. But some renters have found they paid a high price when it comes to their personal privacy.

Although popular vacation rental platforms have strict policies against hosts using hidden cameras, that hasn’t stopped some hosts from planting them. 

One 2016 case involved a Las Vegas Airbnb host who placed hidden cameras around the rental and secretly filmed guests in private areas, including the bedroom and bathroom. Christopher Rogers was convicted of using spy cams disguised as smoke detectors to secretly record guests naked.

Spy cameras that can be bought online are able to be disguised into practically anything, including electrical adapters and digital clocks. Some devices can even transmit video live, allowing whoever is watching you to track your moments in real time.

Aissa Valdy, 25, was on vacation with friends at a Miami Beach apartment listed on Airbnb, when she says she spotted a hidden camera.

“I turned around and I see a black cube that looked like a digital clock. And I’m like, there’s no way. I open it up. There’s a camera inside. I unplug it, and it’s just like wow, I was in shock,” Valdy said.

But perhaps no story is more shocking than what's alleged to have happened inside a secluded rental in the picturesque hills near San Antonio. The rustic Airbnb property is located down a private road. 

Now some guests who stayed there are calling it a “cabin of horrors” after police say, for the past year, the Airbnb host allegedly used a hidden camera and recorded various guests — some of them while they were naked and others while they were having sex.

“Beginning was so nice. It’s peaceful, it’s quiet. And then it slowly takes a turn and becomes a horror story,” said one alleged guest, who asked not to be identified.

He says that he and his girlfriend rented the cabin through Airbnb last summer and immediately became suspicious during the host's tour of the property.

“He told us where we should view the sunrise and said, ‘Be comfortable. You guys can look at it in the nude or in your pajamas. No one's around.’ That moment I thought, ‘Maybe we're getting recorded,’” the guest said.

Sure enough, he says just a few hours into their stay, he discovered a hidden camera disguised as an AC adapter.

Images recovered from the tiny camera show him changing in the room. He's now suing the cabin's owner, A. Jay Allee.

Allee was also charged with invasive visual recording after police say a laptop revealed more than 2,000 images taken inside the rental home. 

He’s pleaded not guilty to the charge and denied any wrongdoing.

Inside Edition chief investigative correspondent Lisa Guerrero tried to speak to Allee when he pulled up to the gate that leads to his cabin. He got out of his truck and took a swipe at Guerrero’s microphone.

He said all the accusations are false, before driving off.

In a statement, Airbnb says: “Our policies strictly prohibit hidden cameras and we take forceful action in the exceptionally rare circumstances where this has been reported, including partnering with law enforcement to help hold criminals accountable. We also ban any type of recording devices in bedrooms, bathrooms or sleeping areas.”

They also said that the hosts in the three cases mentioned in this report have been banned from their platforms.

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