Police have raided homes on Melbourne’s fringe after an Airbnb rental in the leafy inner suburb of Hawthorn East was trashed during an out-of-control party at the weekend.
Meanwhile, neighbours have described how they were forced to set their guard dog on teens jumping into their yard from the Airbnb party.
Police were called to a luxury home on Hastings Road about 6am on Sunday to discover the house graffitied, furniture destroyed, vehicles vandalised and holes torn into walls after more than 50 youths packed the property.
A police spokeswoman said detectives from the Boroondara Crime Investigation Unit have since searched homes in Pakenham, in Melbourne’s outer south-east, and seized “exhibits”.
“They have executed two warrants on properties in Pakenham seizing a number of exhibits that will be forensically analysed,” they said.
“A number of people have been interviewed and identified as persons of interest.”
Police are investigating two alleged assaults at the Hawthorn East scene.
A 73-year-old man, who lives nearby, was taken to hospital with head injuries after being attacked, allegedly by a group of women.
Police say a 16-year-old who was also assaulted was not seriously injured.
On Monday the $3 million property remained wrapped in police tape with towels and rolls of toilet paper littering the front yard.
Susan, who lives next door, told The Age the gathering started about 9.30pm.
Within hours dozens of youths of African appearance were spilling into the street.
“We just thought it was the owners having a party,” she said.
“At probably about 10.30pm there was a noise in our backyard and I said to my husband, ‘There is something going on outside’. He had a look and a couple of guys were trying to climb the fence.
“It wasn’t a party per se, it was a gathering of young people who were arguing, smashing things. There was no loud music, no fun.”
The woman said her family released their German Shepherd out the back door, which scared away the intruders.
“It scared the bejesus out of them, they went very, very quickly,” she said.
When the party continued into the early hours, Susan rang police several times.
“In their defence, they were were outnumbered. There were a lot of bodies here. The young people just walked calmly away, down the street or round the corner, into the laneway and just dispersed. Then when police left, within 10 minutes they meandered back,” she said.
Victoria Police has refused to comment on whether the same group of youths are behind a string of similar parties using online bookings to secure luxury homes across Melbourne.
The house had been booked through AirBnb, and Susan said she spoke to shocked relatives of the elderly property owner on Sunday.
“Apparently they met up with the young lady in the morning and handed over the keys and remotes and she just said she was so nice. What you can do. Of course she was nice.”