Local companies say thieves stealing hot tubs

Kevin Lewis thought someone was getting ready to move into the empty house a few doors down.

"I've seen some people come and actually look at the house, so I thought they were maybe part of the crew putting in the hot tub," Lewis says.

They were actually carting off that hot tub sitting in the driveway. There was another one already in the garage. That hot tub came from Dave Snelling Jr.'s company. He says this man came in and purchased it on credit. He wanted it delivered to the house before his wife's birthday, so Snelling pressured the delivery company.

"I said 'I need someone to push this for Wednesday. Is there anyway you could shuffle your schedule?' I said 'it's this guy's birthday' and he said 'funny you should mention this. I've had a couple of calls for birthdays on that day,'" Snelling says.

Same day and same address. Turns at the same guy had pulled a similar scam on Richard Moody, even presenting a driver's license, possibly one of many you can see him shuffling through on security video.

"Valid looking driver's license," Moody says. "Everything was in order by his documents. Real good credit."

Because it wasn't his credit. He gave the name "Dennis Brian Hall" from Irving to Snelling and "Chad Arthur Ramsey" to Moody. Snelling only found out he'd been duped when the real Hall disputed the charges and the financing unraveled. They are now out about $14,000.

We found a box addressed to Hall on the front stoop, as well as another addressed to Randy Harris.

We've now learned he may have hit a third company in Dickinson for a jacuzzi on the same day with the same story.

Law enforcement calls places like this "drop houses." Thieves or smugglers will have stuff delivered to a vacant house and then collect it when they think nobody is watching.  They can operate under the radar for a while, but not this one anymore.

Snelling has filed a report with Pct. 3 constables, and Lewis won't look at the house a few doors down the same way.

"Well.. not now...," he says.

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