Man identified, accused of stealing $40K worth of hot tubs from area businesses
HOUSTON – Investigators with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said they now know the identity of a man accused of using fake IDs to buy hot tubs, have them delivered to a vacant home, then steal them.
Authorities said Kevin Dewayne Williams, 36, is the man seen on surveillance video buying a hot tub using someone else’s information in April.
“We put his picture in a photo lineup, showed him to the witnesses and they 100 percent identified who he was,” explained Sgt. Jerry McClure, with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
He’s worked on the case for about two months. He said he put the picture of Williams on an internal site that’s shared between law enforcement.
“An HPD (Houston Police Department) officer recognized him as a person that he arrested a couple weeks before at the Galleria for using somebody else’s ID to get credit,” said McClure.
He said Williams tried to buy jewelry from Zales, and when asked for his date of birth, he had to look at a piece of paper. That’s what tipped off the sales clerk to contact authorities.
Williams was arrested, bonded out and never showed up for court, according to McClure.
“He gave a home address somewhere in Fort Worth and we’re having that checked out,” explained McClure, who said they're working with police in Fort Worth to find Williams.
"Somebody's got to pay for it and it's us and he's got our hot tub and I would love to see him brought to justice,” said David Snelling, who works at Olympic Pools and Spas, a family-run business.
Snelling said when Williams walked into the store on April 28, he said he wanted to buy a hot tub for his wife’s birthday.
After applying for the credit, Williams was approved, and requested to have the tub rush-delivered. Snelling said they made it happen, but then after they dropped the hot tub off, the lender called stating the person was disputing the charges.
The tub was gone, and it turned out the house was vacant.
“It’s a (disappointment). You work hard for your money, the business tries to make money, we’re in business to make money when that happens and people want to try to get something for nothing or something that doesn’t belong to them,” said Snelling.
They were not alone.
The same thing happened to Aqua Living Factory. Williams is accused of using a stranger’s identity to buy a $9,000 hot tub and had it rush-delivered to the same house. It too disappeared.
“He has to be reselling them,” said McClure. “Those hot tubs have serial numbers and we enter it as a stolen number, hopefully someone will check the serial number if they purchased a cheap hot tub.”
According to Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal History documents, Williams has served time for using other people’s identities.
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