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tv   Vegas Undercover Raw  MSNBC  January 23, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm PST

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here are your top stories, we watch the storm, blizzard of 2016, developing situation spawned by this massive storm. 17 confirmed fatalities so far. the snow continues to fall. let's go over to msnbc meteorologist bonnie. >> we have a blizzard warning impacting 30 million people. boston, new york city, records have been shattered across so many cities like philadelphia, atlantic city, new jersey. new york city as well, watch out for bands of still heavy snow. even into southern new england like in cape cod and boston. richard? >> bonnie, thank you.
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new york city remains under a travel ban. there's massive coastal flooding in new jersey to watch. again 17 confirmed deaths from the midwest to the northeast. 11 states declared states of emergency. we'll watch it all, but for now, it's back to caught on camera. in this this las vegas you roll the dice for fun. in this las vegas life is the roll of the dice. car thieves, con artists. how many people do you figure you guys scan? >> for suspected killer. >> and what was she doing at the time? >> crying, i guess. >> the odds are good if you did the crime, you'll do the time. >> i should have listened to my mom. that's what i should have done. >> fought by the cops. >> burglary, larceny and grand larceny. >> and maybe our cameras. >> you charging me with something? >> i'm not charging you. i'm a correspondent for a television news show. i'm not charging you with
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anything. tonight an all new undercover journey through an underground world. vegas undercover. thanks for joining us. i'm chris hansen. this is one view of las vegas looking down on the strip. the view of vegas you get as a cop isn't as pretty, but it's just as riveting. that's the vegas our cameras have captured. every day in the city police play a high stakes game of cat and mouse with conmen crooks and killers. now you're in on the chase from the first 911 call to the final clink of the jail cell door. it happens right before your eyes here on vegas undercover. >> this lists every call. >> the man in charge recently showed us an operation called the southern nevada culture terrorism center, also known as the fusion center. >> we have 14 agencies that are represented here.
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>> it's the clearinghouse for all data related to any criminal activity occurring in southern nevada. >> all crimes. all hazards. but most important, the information that comes through this facility helps police know where to focus their attention. >> this is at the fingertips of our watch commander. >> it's information that also helps police decide where to carry out their undercover stings. like this fencing operation run by the vegas intelligence unit. the store is meant to look like a business that sells car audio parts. but it's really a place where thieves know they can come to unload stolen goods.
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the crooks think the men buying the loot are fellow bad guys, but they're really undercover detectives for the vegas intelligence unit. >> i have two malibus. our hidden cameras have been rolling. we've been watching it go down from the back room. he's got five others he wants to sell. we listen as thieves describe how easy it is to steal cars. >> keys were sitting right now to the car. [ bleep ] idiot. >> and guns. >> i got about 62 all together. >> guns? >> pistols and rifles. >> some are very violent. >> the lieutenant who oversees the operation says all of the suspects know this is the police to come to sell stolen items. they have to make the first move. they have to have possession of the stolen property before you have a conversation? >> absolutely.
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today undercover team is getting ready for the arrival of a new customer. we're kating for a man to come in named adam. he got onto this place when he was in the county jail and met a fellow inmate who had also done business here. >> and now here he comes, a 22-year-old driving the stolen car. he brought alock a friend. >> johnny! you here? >> i got a gps for sale i got earlier, too. adam says he's an auto detailer who moonlights as a car thief. >> we agree to five. throw it in an we'll make it 550. >> adam stays to chat for a while.
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he starts to relax and reveal more about himself. >> so you detail rides? >> he has a car detailing operation. so he access to all kinds of cars. i figure i can wipe the prints off them so good. >> he brags to the undercover officers about his expertise at hot ironing fords. i can get brand new mustangs all day long. >> and adam tells the detectives something else. one of the hot cars was owned by someone the police may know. that's right. a judge. a judge adam says he may be seeing soon regarding earlier trouble. >> she's my sentencing judge
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right now. adam and his friend leave promising to be back soon. the police are planning on arresting adam and all the other suspects once the investigation is over. word of the fencing operation has spread quickly. one suspect referring others to the little shop. brad, for example, was the shop's first customer. he sent in this woman, chevy. >> did brad tell you what this is about here? >> he explained to me a little bit. >> then chevy brought some of her friends including levi. and now levi is back, introducing the shop's next customer, 21-year-old courtney miller. >> well, it's nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you. is this all you? i'm curious.
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today courtney has a freshly stolen truck for sell. >> it's going to be noticed missing at 4:00. that's when it will be reported. >> that's when it will be home. >> so this just happened today? >> yes. >> are the original plates still on it? >> yes. >> she explains the truck belonged to her ex-boyfriend who recently dumped her. >> it was some guy that told me i was too young for for him. and we were messing around with each other, and then he just stopped talking to me all together. i'm sorry. i love these stories. this is an ex-boyfriend, so to speak, and you decided i'm taking the truck? >> no. what else did you get anything you want to sell? >> to get back i had friends rip him off.
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>> they just packed up his house and just loaded it up. >> she negotiates a price. >> will you come back with the other stuff? >> oh, of course. i'll pay for half your cab back. so 500 for both. or $480 and you can find your own cab. what are you looking for? is somebody going to talk to you from up there? >> can't we make it 550 and call it a day? because you are a generous guy. >> soon courtney will regret making an appearance on the store front when she makes another appearance on dateline. >> i should have listened to my mom. that's what i should have done.
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time for police to shut down the storefront sting operation. in all, police recovered more than a million dollars in stolen cars, arresting 38 suspects. remember adam isaacson? he was arrested and taken to police headquarters. as we had with the other suspects, we asked him if you wanted the see the tape. i have video. i would like you to take a look if that's all right with you. i showed him video of himself bragging about a car that was
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stolen from a judge. >> well, this car apparently belonged to the daughter of a judge. >> i guess so. i didn't know until months later. as it turns out it's a judge that's about to sentence him in related case. >> apparently my new sentencing judge. >> how do you suppose this will play in front of your new sentencing judge? you talking about having possession of her daughter's car. >> she's going to [ bleep ] fry me. >> that's not going to go over very well. he is clearly upset that he's now being exposed. >> it's going to g get me killed. period, point blank. i will die in prison. >> why? >> because you guys are going to put this [ bleep ] on tape and everything else. it don't matter. you go to prison. anybody thinks you told.
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you die. period. enof story. i told adam it's clear he isn't ratting on anyone during the interview. you're saying it was the suggestion of ratting out people in police. >> i was stealing cars and i'm sitting here talking to you. now adam pleaded guilty and will spend one to six years in prison. >> it's nice to meet you. >> it's nice to meet you. remember 21-year-old courtney? chris hansen, how are you? >> good, and you? >> have a seat. i'm not -- >> not ready for this? >> no we're doing a story and you surfaced in the investigation. and we wanted to get your side of things.
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how did you get caught in the middle of all this? >> i honestly do not know. i had a friend that had a friend that knew some people that were dealing with cars and things, and he took me to them and now i'm here. >> you had a friend who had a friend who knew some people. >> yeah. >> that sounds like the start of a bad story. >> it does not have a happy ending. have you ever been in trouble with the law before? >> yeah. >> to what? >> which state? nevada or colorado? >> let's start with colorado. >> colorado, those were drug charges. they raided my house for prfring and distributing. >> what? >> crystal meth.
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>> crystal meth. were you using or sell sng. >> we were just smoking it. >> smoking it. >> courtney said she's been smoking crystal meth for years, starting when she was a kid. i've been on it since i was 11 years old. >> 11 years old? that's a tough, tough drinking. in how addictive it is and what it does to your mind and body. but recently she was getting her life back on track. you go to college? >> yeah. >> what do you study? >> criminal justice. >> criminal justice. isn't that ironic. >> very ironic. >> and now you're in jail. >> now i'm in jail, yes. >> how does that happen? >> i honestly don't know. >> will you come back with the other stuff? >> oh, of course. courtney found out the police were looking for her. >> she's supposed to be there at 10:00. we'll swoop her up. this student of criminal justice didn't study much on how to turn yourself in. >> i was sitting in a u-haul on
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any my way back to my mom's house to pick up clothes because i told them that they -- if they wanted me to turn myself in to go pretty much [ bleep ] themselves because i wasn't going to turn myself in. catch me if you can. >> you said, catch me if in you in. >> my exact words. >> you have to know if you say that to police detectives, they're going to get you. >> it took them three days. >> youound like you're proutd of that? >> i'm not proud of that. i'm not going to turn myself in not knowing -- giving me a heads up of what i'm being charged with. >> but they have an arrest warrant. >> arrest warrant for what? they didn't tell me why. i wasn't going the turn myself in unless i knew why i was bein arrested. >> while courtney knows she was caught in a police sting, there's something she didn't know. that we had the undercover video to show her. can i show you something? >> yeah. i i would love to see it.
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>> so this just happened today? >> yes. were the original plates still on it? >> yes. >> okay. >> so what was going through your mind wen you saw that video? >> i'm [ bleep ]. do you blame yourself at all? >> yep. i should have listened to my mom. that's what i should have done. i should have just listened to my mom. what did she tell you? why do you hang out with criminals? if you don't hang out with criminals, you won't go to jail. courtney pleaded guilty and will spend two to five years in prison. so where do crooks steal cars to sell? sometimes they take them right off the street. but police and our hidden cameras are watching. >> come on, fools! coming up, behind the wheel, then off to jail.
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>> put your hands out. let me see your hands! when "vegas undercover" continues. [turkey] gobble. [butcher] i'm sorry! (burke) covered march fourth,2014. talk to farmers. we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ ♪ ♪
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iall across the state belthe economy is growing,day. with creative new business incentives, and the lowest taxes in decades, attracting the talent and companies of tomorrow. like in the hudson valley, with world class biotech. and on long island, where great universities are creating next generation technologies. let us help grow your company's tomorrow, today at business.ny.gov you're watching realtime video of a thief in the act of stealing a car. it happens over and over again. in fact, every 30 seconds another car is stolen somewhere in america.
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until just a few years ago las vegas led the nation in auto theft. but the police here responded with a specialized unit called viper, and soon the crime numbers began falling. we've been riding along with an lieutenant showing us specialized bait cars. rigged with hidden cameras and on board computers to catch thieves. >> this has a map. each car is represented by a color. >> here's how it works. two undercover detectives, a male and a female drive one of the vehicles into a high crime area and get out of the car and appear to start an argument. in the chaos they pretend to abandon the vehicle, a real life scenario that lieutenant duvall says happens more than you might think. >> we use real situations where people have had their cars stolen because they left it
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running. >> tonight it takes only a few minutes for the bait car to attract attention. >> we have someone interested. >> at first just one woman jumps in. >> door open. >> and what she doesn't know is that the police are following her. we're right behind her. we're watching and listening to everything she says. >> come on, fool. >> she picks up three friends. >> hurry up. see if they got some money. >> and rummages through a purse intentionally left by police. just look through the [ bleep ]. >> the bait car, the escalade was out for probably less than three minutes. a woman got in, grabbed it, and then picked up some other people. >> i'm about to run this light. >> now they're running a red light. >> we got to park this [ bleep ]. >> talking ab going to the house and parking it. >> it's time for the cops to cut off the power to the suv.
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>> kill it, kill it, kill it. >> oh, no gas. >> let me see your hands! driver, put your hands out. let me see your hands. >> officers arrest all four people in the car and charge them with grand theft auto. before they're taken off to jail, i get a chance to speak with them. starting with the driver, who goes by misty. i'm wondering if you just tell me what happened. >> yeah, the lady was arguing with her boyfriend. >> the lady who was originally driving the car. she describes after seeing the commotion and the abandoned car, her friends egged her onto take it. >> they wanted me to get it. >> they wanted you to get it? why did they want you to get it? >> i don't know. >> well, they're your friends. so you just did. why not just turn the car off and call police? >> i don't know. i was going to probably do that when i got here. >> what were you all saying to each other when you took off? >> nothing.
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just let's go park it. >> see i could hear what you were saying. that's not what you were saying. >> i said, look through her wallet. >> look through her wallet, see if there's any money. so you're going to take the pun if you found money. >> because i have no money. >> i know, but you're not supposed to take money that's not yours, right? >> one of the other passengers, timothy dillon says his friend misty has it all wrong. >> now she says, misty says that you all said, get in the car, get in the car. start it. drive around, pick us up. >> i have no idea why she would say that? >> she claims that's what happened. >> i mean, she got her opinion. i got mine. >> and what's your opinion? >> she asked if we needed a ride, so we got in. >> i heard what was going on. and it didn't go down just that way. you want to give me another shot at the story here? >> that's the one i'm going with. >> the other two suspects are
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siblings. he said he knew this was a bad idea. i said, i'm not getting in there. my sister is like, yeah, you are. come on, come on. >> i had some -- i -- >> his sister loretta admits she's been drinking. so what made you decide it was a good idea to jump in there? >> to have a ride. >> to have a ride. a ride that on this night land her and her friend behind bars. all four suspects have pleaded guilty and were sentenced to less than a year in jail. so what's going to happen to you now? >> i'm in trouble. >> you're in trouble. all right. >> yeah. >> coming up, thieves so bold they stole jewelry from one pawnshop and hocked it at another. how they were finally put on ice. >> i found the gun. it's under the passenger seat wrapped in a towel.
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hi, i'm richard lui with the latest on the massive storm blanketing the east coast. 17 confirmed fatalities and the snow continues to fall. let's go over to msnbc meteorologist bonnie schneider. >> we're under a blizzard warning for many major cities, 30 million people impacted by this incredibly long-lasting system. the snow bands are hitting cape cod really hard there are parts of cape cod that have ten inches of snow, record snowfall across new york city. all the airports there into newark. and certainly the delmarva getting pounded as well. the wind is still a big problem, you can see the brighter white indicating where the snowbands are. it's not subsiding. that's why the blizzard wirarni will stay in effect throughout tomorrow morning. >> the new york city travel ban new this hour, will be lifted at 7:00 a.m. sunday. massive coastal flooding in new jersey. 17 confirmed deaths, 11 states
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declaring states of emergency. now back to "caught on camera." two masked men, guns drawn, order terrified customers and employees to the floor as they smash display cases, hidden jewelry and cash. he says all the robberies share a similar pattern. they pull up right in front of the pawnshop. the men wear masks made from t-shirts and carry guns and use pillow cases for the loot. >> they force him in there. >> throw them in the pillow case.
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who are they? the video from the pawnshop is of little use. then a tip comes in. jewelry stolen from one pawnshop is being hocked at another. this suspect is identified on store surveillance wearing a gold chain stolen that very morning. police identify him. antonio richard. a seven-time convicted felon. >> i didn't have enough to get identified from the victims in the pawnshop. so i had to do something to get the cases solved. >> the only way to know is to keep richard under constant surveillance. the detective turns to a specialized unit. called the repeat owe fepders program. or r.o.p.e.
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>> we'll look at their activities and see what they're doing. -- to catch them in the act. lieutenant ted lee, who heads up the specialized unit, says it's the career criminals who commit most crimes. >> unfortunately that's their job. that's the business. that's all they really know. the sergeant and his team are assigned to watch antonio richard every waking hour. first it seems richard is living a crime-free life. even has a job as a courier. until another tip. >> we have a new piece of information. informants say he's going to hit another super shop and give him a time and arrest. the suspects show up before the sergeant arrives on the scene, the men are spooked when they see a security guard and drive away.
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but police follow the men and arrest them a few blocks down from the road. so were these the guys responsible for the armed robberies? remember that white grand van? they were arrested riding in a white grand am. crime scene investigators search the car. >> we're looking for any kind of clothing, firearms, anything like that. >> and find masks made out of t-shirts, just like the one used this the robbery. >> one that we just pulled out. a gun underneath the front seat. >> it's wrapped in a towel. and a pillow case just like the robbers were seen carrying. a few weeks later i went to the jail to speak with richard. how did it all start? >> just doing something to be
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doing something. wasn't really no reason. >> richard admits they were the claim behind the mask but claims they had no intention of hurting anyone. >> it seems worse than it really is. >> in what way? >> it looks like we were going to hurt someone. we were trying to make situations happen and come out of there as safe as possible. that's all it really was. >> richards says he and his police, who has pleaded guilty, netted more than $20,000 in stolen goods. extravagant things. what was the most extravagant thing you bought with the money? >> going on trips? fix the cars up. pay the bills.
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just gamble. at 42 he's already spent more than ten years in prison. is prison a deterrent for you? >> i don't being locked up. i stay locked up. i parentally it must be something within me to where i must be liking this type of lifestyle or something. coming up, he's in hot water. how many people do you figure you guys scammed? but say it's all his fault. >> i'm done. i mean, are you charging me with something? >> i'm not charging you. i'm a correspondent for a television show.
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>> this 82-year-old was looking for someone to help her maintain her property. you had landscape work. so the flier on her doorstep seemed worth looking into. they soon did some work.
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did some landscaping. trimmed the bushes. cleaned up, and you wrote him a check for $120. >> you're watching the actual video from the day the men worked for kay. here they are blowing and raking leaves off her driveway. what none of them knew was that someone else was watching, too, sergeant chris laveck and his team of undercover detectives. >> it's just a cat and mouse game is really the best way to describe it. >> police had been surveilling the men for weeks, and our cameras were with them on the way. >> gary stevenson, wearing a dark long-sleeved t-shirt. >> why would police follow two landscapers? because the cops knew something else about these two. they were thieves.
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this is surveillance video of the men with another accomplice at a marshal's clothing store. >> surveillance video. they're ripping you have tags and putting stuff in the car. >> they cut off security tags and hide merchandise in bags. >> what kind of stuff are they steal sng. >> on that occasion just clothing. he cut open a box of men's cologne and had taken some boxes. >> here they are another day at lowes. they pick up some window screens and simply walk out without paying for them. so when they were spotted blowing leaves in the neighborhood, cops suspected
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they were up to no good. and that's when the suspects approached kay. she paid them to do some yard work. but then they made their move. he got done yard working. he told me to open up the garage door. the landscapers told her they checked her water heater. the water heater is perfectly fine. >> it looks like he's going back up to the house. >> so she agrees to pay them $1,000 to replace it. they load it into their truck and haul it away. >> and they're away going eastbound. but if the water heater wasn't broken, what were they up to? it seems these thieves got greedy because the water heater was still under warpty and heading to this plumbing store. >> they said they had a warranty heater replacement that they got. >> by presenting this sticker to the management of store. they could get a new one for free. the plan, pocket kay's thousand
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dollars for a nonexistent repair, replace her water heater, and keep the extra one for themselves. but cops have seen enough. and they move in. you know you are under arrest now, right? for burglary, grand larceny and larceny. >> as police sort out what happened to cay, they arrest stevenson and whipple. stealing from the retail stores. >> we've been following you guys for a while. we've been watching you every morning. we've seen you on your shoplifting sprees. >> it was somebody that looked like me that wasn't me. >> do you have any twins? >> do i have any twins? not that i know of. a few weeks later, he agreed to speak with us, too. >> when did this term from a landscaping business to a criminal enterprise? >> about two and a half years ago. steven said they scammed people
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they believed was the most vulnerable, the elderly. >> go to the old folk's neighborhood. kick somebody's water system over. completely break it to where water is gushing everywhere. come back 10, 20 minutes and say, look, your water system is broke. t got to get fixed. if you don't get it fixed, your water bill will go skyrocketing. they would hire us to fix it. >> there were other scams, too. >> go to somebody's home and say we're washing roofs today. it's really hot. you told these people that you had a whole plan to protect the roofs. >> exactly. >> but there were no repairs once they got on the roof. just a hosing, literally. >> just spraying water. >> and what did that do for the roof? >> nothing. just clean it.
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>> how many do you figure you guys scammed? >> we scammed probably about a good 100, 150 people. >> all elderly? >> all elderly. >> you're okay with that. >> i was strongly against it. >> that's because he says none of it was his idea. he blames this man, joe ridell, a career criminal who stevenson says forced him into a life of crime by beating him. >> i got to tell you, gary, if i'm living with a guy who's beating me, making me pull off scams, i'm out of there. >> i was scared for my life because he's already told me after i got back with him that if i ever ran away, and if he ever caught me, he would break both my legs where i could never walk again. that's when i started looking. i was like, well, i can't do nothing, so i might as well just
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do it. if i don't do it there's going to be consequences. >> did you feel trapped? >> i felt trapped. i really felt trapped. i was scared for my life. >> why didn't you just go to the police and say hey, look, i'm in this bad situation. this guy is making me commit crimes. he's threatening my life. >> plus he threatened my family as well. i knew if i went to the cops the first place he would go is to my grandma's house. >> so who is joe ridell, who allegedly controlled the scammers? chris hansen with "dateline nbc". how you doing? ridell is a three time convicted felon. we met him at the clarke county detention center where he was being held on another case. gary stevenson told us you were the man behind the scene, where you would send these guys out, target the elderly people, ripping them off. >> never. >> did you ever send gary or a guy named dave to punch holes in people's water lines?
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>> never. >> to destroy the sprinkler systems so you could get paid for repairing them? >> never. >> ridell says now that stevenson has been caught he's just making up a story to cover his tracks. >> you know you are under arrest, right? >> so why would gary stevenson say all this? >> because the guy is a crazy nut. >> he's a crazy nut? >> yeah. he got himself in a bunch of trouble. so he lies about everybody else. that's what. >> but ridell says he never beat or threatened stevenson, in fact, he says he helped him. >> took care of him. lived there. >> we also asked him about allegations that he's a white supremacist, and that's when he decided to end the interview. >> what does that have to do with anything? i'm done. are you charging me with something? >> i'm not charging you, i'm a correspondent for a television news show. >> oh, okay. >> hey, one other question before you go. anything else you want people to know about this case?
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>> it's bull [ bleep ]. i mean, come on. the dude went to jail for [ bleep ] stealing to make money for himself. he got caught. he started making lies up about people. >> david whipple also claims that his partner is making things up. >> did you ever go out and break somebody's sprinkler system so you could get hired to fix it? >> no, never once have i done anything like that? >> have you ever gone and dug up somebody's water pipe? and poked a hole in it so you could come back the next day and charge them to fix it? >> no. >> did you ever tamper with anybody's hot water heater? >> no. >> no. >> no. >> why would gary stevenson say all this stuff if it wasn't true? he says you guys would go up on people's roofs and pretend like you were treating them for the summer months, and yet all you were doing was spraying a hose up there.
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>> i have no idea what he's talking about. >> that you had opened the valve on the hot water heat tore make it look like it was leaking. >> no idea what he's talking about. i've never done anything like that. gary stevenson is a story teller. >> it seems that whipple was also telling stories. he later pleaded guilty. as for gary who also pleaded guilty -- what do you say to all those elderly people who you helped rip off? >> i say, i'm sorry for doing it. i was doing -- i was made to do it against my own will. >> coming up -- away from the lights, dark and deadly nights in las vegas. you saw the sexual assault? >> yes. >> and what was she doing at the time? >> crying, i guess. >> when "vegas undercover" continues. hands up! (splashing/destruction)
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police are on the case cracking down on thieves, scammers and career criminals in sip city. but they're also on top of the worst sin of all, murder. >> how many you guys wept out to where the body is? >> for years we've been there as detectives unravel murder mysteries in las vegas. now we're back with the homicide unit. >> and he thinks there is a woman on the other side of the building. >> lieutenant lou roberts is in charge of homicide. >> it's dark work and there is never good news. >> what is the hardest part of this job? >> the families. i try to give them updates on the cases. not just the cases that occurred yesterday or the day before or the cases we may have tomorrow. they're cases that are 10 years old, 20 years old, 30 years old, 5 years old. you are constant by absorbing the family's pain. you know, and trying to make them understand and trying to comfort them and will it them
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know we are trying to work their cases. that is a never ending process. >> a never ending process because there roughly 115 murders a year in las vegas. like this one the case of the romeros, a married couple shot in their home during a robbery. >> the male was shot, the wife was shot in the face. >> julio romero was shot. and his wife was shot in the face but survived. a process server came knocking that day looking for someone who used to live at that address. >> she said that the suspect came back that night and let inside but the husband who subsequently shot the husband and dragged her into the closet where he shot her in the face. >> and left her for dead? >> and left her for dead. >> detectives identify the process server, gregory hover.
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they act quickly, finding out where hover works. >> the detectives tail him and move in for the arrest. >> let's see your hands! let's see your hands! now! and they learn there is much more to this case. hover may have had an accomplice. >> metro police tell the gentleman to come back out here. >> his name is ricky freeman and police pick him up. police tell detectives he knows all about the romero shooting and he volunteers more horrifying information about another gruesome murder. >> metro police say two high profile murders are connected. >> he knows about the murder of this woman who was kidnapped randomly after finishing a shift as a waitress.
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>> she was stabbed, sexually assaulted and lit on fire. >> but it was unsolved until ricky freeman told police what he knew. >> chris hansen. how you doing? >> i sat down with ricky fremont at the local jail who is speaking out for the first time. how did you meet gregory hover? >> i met him through a friend a year ago. he was barbecuing. >> freeman was 17 when he met hover the 37-year-old process server. ? he worked for a legal company delivering subpoena papers. he said i could drive for him. >> then came the night that everything changed. the men were driving around when hover spotted a woman going to her car. >> he said he was picking up a friend and everything turned bad. >> but the woman wasn't a
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friend. >> he's accused of kidnapping her at gunpoint. >> hover ordered him to drive the car to a place in the desert where he raped and torture the woman before setting the body on fire. >> did you witness this? >> yes. >> you saw the sexual assault? >> yes. >> what she going? >> crying i guess. >> what was going through your mind? >> how am i going to get away? how am i going to run? what am i going to do when he tries to kill me? >> why not just drive to the police station? >> i don't know where any police stations are. i didn't see any police at the time? >> did you have a cell phone? >> no. >> why not go to a gas station or convenience store? >> as soon as i would have stepped out of the car he would have shot me. >> instead of going to police, freeman continued to hang out
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with hover. and two weeks later freeman drove hover to the romero's home the night they were shot. >> he went into the house saying he had to serve them papers and he came back out and said he shot them. i almost threw up. i thought i was about to die right then and this. >> but here's the thing. had you gone to police after the first killing, romero would likely be alive today. >> yeah, but i had no chance to get to the police. i had no chance to call police. he was always right there. >> [ speaking foreign language ]. >> weeks later still healing and grieves, roberta romero came to court and pointed out gregory hover as the man who pulled the trigger. >> [ speaking foreign language ].
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>> hover and freeman were charged with multiple counts of murder, rape and kidnapping both men could face the death penalty and both have pleaded not guilty. >> what do you say to the victims' families? >> i'm sorry for what -- for not being able to stop him. i wish i could have. that's all for now i'm chris hansen. for all of us at msnbc news thanks for joining us. richard lui with the latest on the massive storm. 17 confirmed fatalities and the snow continues to

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