Pacific Palisades resident Peter Filsinger had a bizarre start to 2017 that involved missing keys, a fraudulent home rental, and an invader, but no arrest.
On Dec. 31, his fiancée, Krista, parked her car in his garage near the upper Bel-Air Bay Club in the afternoon and left the keys in the vehicle. When it came time to drive downtown in the early evening, she couldn’t find them.
After searching for a while, she and her sister left the car and took Uber downtown to join Filsinger at the Jonathon Hotel, where they planned to stay overnight after celebrating the start of 2017.
The next day, when Filsinger’s fiancée and her sister returned to his home around noon, they notice the back-glass door is open. Concerned, they don’t enter, but instead walk to the bottom of the driveway, where they see “a guy” walking back towards the house.
Later, looking at security cameras, Filsinger can see a “guy” arriving at his house at 8 a.m. Jan. 1. “He can’t get in my house and we see him walking around the house, front and back, for the next hour.”
The man drives his car down the driveway and parks it in the Bel-Air Bay Club parking lot. At 9 a.m. he returns to the house and remotely opens the garage door and goes inside.
“He walks around inside and outside for about two hours,” Filsinger said. “He spends a good amount of time going through my file cabinet. So far, I can’t detect anything in my files or house is missing. Except, he pulled a puppy obedience graduation certificate out of my files and placed it under the pillow of my bed.
“At 10:48 a.m. he leaves through the backyard with his Goyard bag [in the United States, Goyard is only available at Barney’s and Bergdorf Goodman in New York and two stores in California], and we think he went down to the beach club or to the beach for a walk.”
When the two women meet the guy as he comes back up the walkway, he returns the keys and the garage-door remote. He tells them he was at a West Hollywood nightclub on New Year’s Eve and bought them from someone who told him it was an Airbnb rental.
LAPD was called and the man was detained. His rights were read, the police questioned him, and he was released.
Filsinger said the police told him they didn’t feel this guy was the original thief, but was rather stupid for having rented the house in an unorthodox way from a fraudulent seller.
The News asked Filsinger if he knew how much the guy had paid for the rental, but he didn’t know.
“I have been trying to get a response from Airbnb about whether my house was ever listed,” he said. “When I go on their site, I can’t go back and see the past, so I don’t know if it was actually listed. I’ve never put my house up for rent anywhere.”
LAPD is investigating the case and told Filsinger that this wasn’t the first time they’ve heard of a fraudulent home rental.
Even though Filsinger has watched the surveillance tapes, he still hasn’t been able to find out who originally stole the garage remote and his fiancée’s car keys.
“However, my camera view is not perfect and it’s possible that someone went in off camera view,” he said. “It is also possible that we missed it when we watched the video. It is very hard to watch real-time video for hours and hours, trying to catch someone walking by.”
A fraudulent Craigslist listing in Pacific Palisades was recently reported.