Valley woman says pool repairman took her $2,000 and disappeared

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by LiAna Arenas

azfamily.com

Posted on June 21, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 22 at 4:35 PM

 

A West Valley woman says she's out $2,000 after a pool repairman took her money and took off. So Gary Harper caught up with Ron Lutz to find out what happened.

Gary: "I wanted to talk to you about Deborah?"

Ron :"Deborah?'

Gary: "Yeah, Deborah Gale."

Ron Lutz is an unlicensed contractor who had a difficult time remembering a woman by the name of Deborah Gale but, he should have remembered her.

 

"I'm violated personally and made a fool of with these bizarre excuses," says Deborah.

Deborah says she hired Ron Lutz back in April after finding his pool repair business advertised on craigslist.

"He looked professional, sounded professional, came with a contract, a business card representing performance pools."

Deborah says she hired Ron Lutz to fix her son's swimming pool while he's in Afghanistan working. She thought it would be a nice home coming gift. The total cost of the pool job? Just over $5,000 and Deborah says Ron demanded $2,000 up front.

"$2,000 paid, check cashed within 20 minutes of being written to him, haven't received anything, nothing."

After cashing that check Deborah says Ron Lutz never returned to do the job and it's been months now.

"We're this deep in excuses," says Deborah.

3 On Your Side got involved and caught up with Ron Lutz who eventually remembered Deborah Gale, but says he couldn't understand why there was a problem because he thought he had returned her money.

Gary: "She's out $2,000."

Ron: "No, she has her money."

Gary: "Since when?"

Ron: "Should be a month now. Her daughter even texted me."

Gary: "No, she does not have her money."

Ron Lutz who was more interested in shielding his face with his fist says he thought he had returned Deborah's money by mailing her a cashier's check, a check Deborah says she never received.

 

Ron Lutz has been in trouble before 3 On Your Side discovered just recently, he pled guilty to writing $5,000 in bad checks. And that's not all he's currently on probation for felony theft for an unrelated criminal case.

 

Gary: " Listen, you got a lot of problems. I know you're on adult probation, you don't need anymore problems, she just wants her money back, $2,000."

Ron: "I will call her when I get to my place."

Ron did finally contact Deborah and weeks later, managed to return $500 to her saying he'll see what he can do to return the rest of her money.

Ron: What I am trying to do is just do something to get money. I don't steal, I don't do nothing"

Gary: "You're not stealing people's money in order to get money."

Ron: "No, I got screwed over on a job and that's why..."

It's another excuse Deborah says she has heard before. And one Deborah says she'll have to tell her son who expecting to return from overseas to a beautiful swimming pool.

"How do you tell your son, you really blew it and lost this much, when he had so much faith in you and trusted you so much that you're in charge of everything he owns," says Deborah.

After 3 On Your Side’s involvement, detectives with the Buckeye police department say they are now looking into situation. 3 On Your Side will air a follow up report to update the final outcome.

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