Hot tub repair man allegedly steals $20k worth of goods from clients
A group of friends from Georgia on a ski trip invited a hot tub repair man in for a beer after he was done with the job. The next day that repair man allegedly broke back into the apartment and left with nearly $20,000 worth of their personal items.
The incident was reported by the tenants to the Steamboat Springs Police Department on March 16.
According to the arrest affidavit, the renters reached out to Vacasa rental because their rental’s hot tub was broken and Christopher Svenson, a contractor hired through Vacasa, responded. One of the renters talked with Svenson while he was repairing the hot tub and invited him in for a drink.
The following day the three renters left the house to go skiing. The affidavit details that one renter returned to the property at noon and found the door unlocked. He reported a Rolex watch worth $18,000, a set of Bose Headphones worth $329, a Dell Laptop worth $848, a set of Adidas sneakers worth $160, and an $80 laptop case as being stolen.
The affidavit also details that one of the renters reported an American Express credit card as stolen and another reported $1,200 in cash being taken from their laptop case.
The man whose credit card was allegedly stolen was notified that it was used in multiple places around Steamboat beginning at 12:10 p.m. March 16, 10 minutes after one of the renters arrived back at the house to find the door unlocked.
The affidavit shows that $141 was charged to the American Express card card over the span of March 16-17 on items including women’s socks, jeans, gasoline and an air mattress.
Police spoke with the property manager of the rental who informed them Svenson had only been employed with the rental company for five days.
The affidavit indicates that at 9:15 a.m. March 16, Svenson told the property manager he felt “belittled” by the tenants of the rental property and then proceeded to quit and walk out of the office.
The affidavit details the property manager telling police that Svenson only had a PIN for the garage of the rental property but nothing to access the inside of the residence.
Svenson was commissioned to do work at the residence just for the hot tub repair on March 15, but was allegedly seen at the residence the next day by a maintenance staff member at 9:30, just 15 minutes after quitting his job as a contractor for the rental company.
Police used a data system that allows officers to identify the registered owners of vehicles and video footage from the stores where the credit card was used to identify Svenson.
Police booked Svenson on Wednesday, April 26, on charges including second-degree burglary, a Class 3 felony, and theft, a Class 5 felony. His bail was set at $25,000.
Kit Geary is the county, public safety and education reporter. To reach her, call 970-871-4229 or email her at kgeary@SteamboatPilot.com.
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