Hot Tub Gang gets clean away after targeting homes with outdoor spas
A gang of burglars are targeting homes with hot tubs so they can enjoy a late night dip before stealing luxury goods, police said.
Police are investigating a string of bizarre burglaries where raiders leave their underwear in outdoor baths as “calling signs”. There have been at least four similar incidents at homes with hot tubs in and around Oswaldtwistle, in Lancashire.
In one case, the raiders took a late-night dip in a hot tub before leaving their wet underwear on the side of the middle-aged couple’s outdoor spa.
Sergeant Simon Holderness, from Lancashire Police, said: “We understand there has been some unusual activity in the gardens of the homes in recent weeks related to the hot tubs.
“There is a serious side to this, even though some people might find it amusing.
“Burglaries are at their lowest point in this area for 13 years. They are very, very rare.”
The two most recent incidents were at newly built homes neighbouring each other. Both have hot tubs that are normally covered.
During the raid, the hot tub lids were removed, garden furniture thrown around and wet underwear left at the scene.
“I’m not sure if officers have seized the items to have them forensically tested,” said Sgt Holderness.
Ashley and Cherie Deakin had more than £3,500 worth of goods stolen from their detached home in Oswaldtwistle.
The couple, who had bought the hot tub last year as a joint 40th birthday present, and their son Nathaniel, 16, were sleeping upstairs when the burglars jumped over the garden fence to enjoy a soak.
The raiders then broke into the house and stole a 42in plasma TV, a Nintendo Wii games console, mobile telephones, laptop and a wallet.
“It takes some nerve to use the hot tub before breaking in. We have been shocked at how cheeky it is,” said Mrs Deakin, a 40-year-old case worker for the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
“It is so unusual having people trying to sneak on to your property to use the hot tub. It is bizarre.
“You would expect most burglars would want to get in and out of a house as quickly and quietly as possible, but not these thieves.”
She added: “Maybe these people think it is the only way to get their kicks.
“Some people go skydiving and maybe some people break in to back gardens to use other people’s hot tubs.
“It’s worrying that these people are brazen enough to use the hot tub before breaking in.”
No arrests have been made.