A San Francisco yoga instructor and Airbnb host is receiving an outpouring of community support after a home burglary resulted in the loss of her life savings. Janet Stone, a 48-year-old single mother, kept more than just jewelry in her home safe — according to the Chronicle it's also where she stored her six-figure cash savings. It was all taken from her on December 14 when a thief broke into her home, located the key to the safe, and completely cleaned it out.
“I had been saving for over 20 years," Stone told the paper. "I just crouched on the ground, put my head on the floor and cried,” she said of the moment she discovered the theft. “I couldn’t believe that could happen.”
Adding insult to injury, the burglar even emptied out her daughters' piggy banks. “Anything that I was saving went into the safe,” explained Stone. “We are just trying to make it," she said of her family.
In addition to working as a yoga instructor, Stone rents out her home near Mount Davidson Park via Airbnb. She doesn't know if the crook was a previous guest of hers, but she acknowledged the possibility. “It felt like they knew exactly where the safe was," explained Stone. "It felt like they were in the house before.”
Indeed, the burglar was even able to locate the safe key — hidden in an old purse in the back of a closet — negating the need for a sledge hammer, crowbar, or any other safe-cracking tool.
The SFPD hasn't made an arrest, and there is no surveillance video to speed the investigation along. This is very bad news for Stone, as her home insurance doesn't cover cash. Perhaps aware of that fact, a friend of Stone's launched a YouCaring campaign in an attempt to raise some money for the mother of two. Almost $23,000 had been raised as of press time.
"I'm starting this page because - already in the few hours since she posted about the burglary - so many of you have asked how you can help," the friend wrote. "And I know so many of you who have asked have been so deeply touched - perhaps even your lives changed - by her offerings."
If it turns out that Stone was robbed by one of her former guests, it would not be the first time that renting one's home out on the service had resulted in a burglary. In June of last year a San Francisco woman had $35,000 worth of possessions stolen by an Airbnb guest who broke into a locked room, and in July of this year a man robbed a Piedmont Airbnb after booking a stay under a false name.
Stone's aversion to banks reportedly came after losing half her money in the 2008 crash. She told the paper that she is currently rethinking that particular philosophy.