Woman Suspects She and Friends Were 'Set Up to Be Robbed' at Rental House

A series of videos have gone viral after a woman shared that she suspects she and her friends were "set up to be robbed and/or worse" during a recent bachelorette party getaway.

The TikToker, @callie.bryant, posted a brief video last weekend with footage of the group of women standing in a hotel lobby.

"Bach party in Austin emergency evacuating our VRBO in the middle of the night, cause we realized we were being set up to be robbed and or/worse when the doors didn't lock, alarm system was dead, owner didn't respond & Vrbo listing had been taken down :-)," @callie.byrant, whose first name is Callie wrote in text overlaid on the footage that has been viewed over 3 million times.

The day following the initial post, Callie shared multiple clips explaining a play-by-play of what happened and what led the decision to leave the rental.

VRBO, a vacation rental booking site much like Airbnb, highlights "best practices" for its property managers on its website. The site says while every vacation rental is different and will have "specific safety needs," there are five important safety features that are a good jumping off point.

The site says rental properties should be sure to have working carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, working door and window locks and "exterior safety" features such as lighting and security cameras—following any local surveillance laws that are in place and informing guests of their presence.

In Callie's follow up videos she explains all the "red flags" that became apparent to the group on their first night, adding that the VRBO was located in East Austin and at the time of its booking had 19 reviews, none of which highlighted anything of concern.

She said when they arrived, her friend, who booked the rental, met up with the property owner to be shown around. She said after the owner showed the friend how to put in a code for the gate, she kept the key to the front door in her pocket explaining that they wouldn't need it as they could exit through the backdoor locking it behind them.

"There's red flag number one," Callie said.

Comments have been suspended on all of Callie's videos pertaining to the incident.

She said that night as the women were winding down they checked to make sure all the doors were locked and explained that the lock was "kind of difficult" describing it as a "lever lock."

"We were realizing they were not locking," she said. "There were nine of us who tried, two of whom have PHDs, very smart girls."

She said they texted the owner about the issue, but received no response.

Her husband, who is sitting with her during the follow up videos, adds that that even when the deadbolt appeared to be engaged, if the door was opened from the outside it would open.

Austin, Texas
A series of videos have gone viral after a woman shared the "red flags" she spotted at a rental property in East Austin. Above, a stock image shows an aerial view of Austin, Texas. RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/Getty Images

She said around 12 a.m. they still hadn't received a response from the owner and were beginning to get nervous. Callie said at this point she tried to take the situation with a grain of salt and questioned if she was being "dramatic."

Eventually, she said, they decided to go to bed, but not before "Home Alone-ing" the doors by barricading them with furniture from the inside.

Before bed, though, Calliie said she noticed an alarm system that she tried to punch numbers into and realized it was "totally dead." At that point, one of the women decided to try and pull up the original listing to see if there was anything in the comments they missed that might help.

"It's gone. It's not there. There is no rental property with our address, no house that looks like the one we are staying in, the whole thing was completely gone," she said.

"That's the biggest red flag to me," her husband added.

She said after that discovery she decided to get in touch with her brother, who is a police officer, and explain to him the events that had occurred. He then advised the women to leave as soon as they could and find somewhere else to stay.

"It does not sound good," she recounts her brother saying. "It sounds like you are being set up to be robbed or worse."

She said they felt it was not worth the risk to stay put and packed up to leave.

"We've learned a lot through this and I feel like this is a good opportunity to shine a light on safety and the situation because I'm one who wants to believe the best in every situation and everyone and you just can't do that...," she said.

The women jumped into Ubers and made their way to a nearby hotel to try to get rooms. While that hotel did not have rooms available they managed to find one that did and carried their bags through downtown Austin to get there. Callie posted a video of the journey on her TikTok account.

She said the women were trying to laugh at the situation to still make the experience a fun one for the bride.

The following morning they heard back from the owner of the rental property, who Callie described as being very defensive.

"She implied that we were dumb," she said, and told them their safety "was not compromised."

Three women returned to the property with a "guy friend" that day to take videos of the faulty locks to send to VRBO as well as retrieve some belongings they had left behind. They also noticed at that point that the gate that the owner had initially shown the code for did not lock either.

At the end of the last video in the series, Callie said the women were in the process of attempting to get their money back and according to her TikTok bio they have filed a claim with VRBO.

A spokesperson from VRBO told Newsweek in an email that the company is "working with these guests to gather more information and look into what happened."

"In the meantime, we are providing the guests with a full refund for the cost of their booking as well as expenses incurred for the hotel lodging and transportation," VRBO added.