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Vrbo renter’s stay in Solano County turns into slashed tire, graffiti threat nightmare

The renters woke up to four slashed tires on their rental van and a graffitied message saying, "This is your final warning. The tribe has spoken. Leave or else."

SOLANO COUNTY, Calif. — A fun trip turned into a nightmare vacation when a group of friends woke up to slashed tires and graffitied threats onto their Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner) rental’s garage.

Traveling from Kansas, Alana Harrison says she and her group booked a rental in Green Valley near Fairfield on Vrbo with hopes of wine tasting and celebrating a friend’s birthday. However, they woke up to four slashed tires on their rental van and a graffitied message saying, "This is your final warning. The tribe has spoken. Leave or else."

A neighbor’s camera captured a person approaching the home around 1 a.m. and taking off 17 minutes later.

"I was so freaked out. This house in a cul-de-sac and we were like how did people even know? And of course at the time we didn’t know the situation, we thought someone was out to get us," Harrison said.

The situation she’s talking about is the controversy that has surrounded the property. According to a report by the Daily Republic, the Solano County Board of Supervisors denied an application by the owners of the property for a short-term vacation rental use permit back in April.

Cliff Neal lives near the rental property. He and county documents revealed a number of issues tied to the property’s use as an unpermitted short-term rental, which included late-night noise and trash left behind. Last September, some 65 neighbors sent a petition to the county against this kind of rental in their area.

"Packed this rental with ten beds and made it a party house," Neal said. "Had trespassing on neighbors' properties."

All issues aside, however, Neal says committing a crime like this and scaring innocent renters is no way to handle any situation.

"That’s just wrong," he said.

Harrison says the whole ordeal was odd and, altogether, inconvenient and costly for her and her friends who were caught in the middle.

"I think the homeowners are wrong. Let’s keep renting no matter what, but VRBO should have policies in place. They weren’t even going to remove the listing," she said.

There were people renting the home when ABC10 arrived this afternoon, however, the listing seems to have been taken down by VRBO. 

Harrison says it took multiple requests and a viral Facebook post for VRBO to refund them. The company did not respond to ABC10’s requests for comment on the rental or the incident.

The property owners did not respond to ABC10’s request for comment, and the Solano County Sherriff’s Office did not respond to ABC10’s requests for updates on the investigation.

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