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'We didn't know there was a ghetto': NBA star says car broken into in Vancouver
There's more to Vancouver than its scenic views – a lesson former Toronto Raptors forward Danny Green learned the hard way during his visit last week.
On the latest episode of his podcast, The Green Room, the NBA player revealed he was the victim of a break-in shortly after arriving in town for a youth basketball camp.
Green said while he stayed at a hotel, some of his acquaintances, who were unfamiliar with the city, booked an Airbnb that turned out to be a couple blocks off East Hastings Street.
"We didn't know there was like a ghetto or hood in Vancouver," Green said on the Yahoo! Sports podcast.
The forward, who had just helped the Raptors earn their first championship title, said his colleagues called him after checking into the unit and said they needed to find a new place to stay.
"They're like, 'Yo, we gotta change it. It's old, it's raggedy, it feels haunted.' And we're like all right, we gotta check this Airbnb out," said Green, who also.
After touring the short-term rental for about 10 minutes, Green said they walked outside to discover their car had been broken into and two bags were gone from the backseat.
"We lost electronics, computers, laptops, some camp registry money, stuff like that," he said.
The group decided to look around the neighbourhood to see if they could recover the bags, and ended up on East Hastings, where they received a quick education about some of the poverty and substance abuse issues faced by many Vancouver residents.
"We walk up on it, this thing is the worst street in North America in terms of (drug use)," Green said,
Though that claim might be exaggerated, the area has an international reputation for drug use, and was reportedly once home to the poorest postal code in Canada.
Green said they searched around but couldn't find any sign of their missing bags. The group wasn't sure whether the door was left unlocked at the time of the theft.
According to Green, they reported the incident to authorities and police came to help them look for the bags.
Vancouver Police told CTV News Vancouver it's assigned an investigator to the case, but couldn’t confirm the exact date or location of the theft, or if officers had helped the NBA star search for the suspect.
"It's unfortunate Mr. Green had a negative experience in Vancouver," Sgt. Jason Robillard wrote in a statement. "Overall, our city is a safe place to live and visit."
Police encourage anyone parking their vehicle not to leave any visible items in their cars, to lock their doors and close their windows.
Statistics for theft-from-autos in the city show 14,598 reports to police in 2018, and that the number of reported incidents has been on the rise since 2011.
When Green was asked at an event for fans in Dunbar last Friday how he was spending his time in Vancouver he answered: “Vancouver is a wonderful city. It’s really nice.”
It’s unclear if he made those comments before or after he became part of the city’s latest crime statistic.