Nightmare Before Christmas: South African Family’s Christmas Gifts Stolen From Niagara Falls Airbnb
By Kelsey Marie
A family discovered their Christmas gifts were stolen after checking into an Airbnb on the American side of Niagara Falls this holiday season.
Sandra Mpofu along with her family booked the Airbnb property for a holiday vacation. They checked in and went to dinner but when they got back, they noticed that their luggage, Christmas gifts, Mpofu’s father’s insulin, and the Airbnb’s TV were missing.
Mpofu spoke to USA TODAY, recalling: “When we arrived at the Airbnb after dinner, my aunt and I noticed that the TV in the living room was missing. I looked in the corner where I had placed all of our wrapped presents, and they were all gone. That’s when my aunt ran upstairs and found all the luggage gone, as well.”
After realizing the property had been robbed, Mpofu called the police and her uncle called the Airbnb host. The host asked if the family had left the side door open, but they weren’t aware of a side door. After checking said side door, they discovered it was open and the basement door was unlocked.
In a statement to WIVB, Mpofu says, “Our family is from South Africa; we just wanted to have a good Christmas together, enjoy the company with each other, so for this to happen right before Christmas is like overwhelming and really disappointing.”
She also took to Facebook saying: “By the grace of God we were not at the house during the robbery and our passports were well hidden.”
Mpofu also wrote: “I hope this brings light to anyone using Airbnb to secure your belongings and stay cautious whilst traveling. At the end of the day, we’re Mpofu’s and Mpofu’s find the bright side in any tough situation we’re placed in so although this may have dampened our mood we won’t let this take the joy away from celebrating Christmas together as a family. Merry Christmas from mine to yours.”
Liz DeBold Fusco, an Airbnb spokesperson, tells USA TODAY: “Our sympathies are with this family. We have already provided them with a full refund and we are assisting with their stolen property.”
Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @kelseydashmarie