Kelly Brown was looking forward to the day he could fill his historic claw-foot bathtub with hot water and climb in for a long soak.
Thieves pulled the plug on that dream Saturday, stealing the tub that had been stored outside until it could be installed indoors.
Now, Brown is offering a reward for help in retrieving the tub worth an estimated $3,200.
“It’s a huge, huge tub,” he said, estimating that it took four strong thieves to lift the 7-footer into a vehicle.
The theft occurred between late morning and early afternoon while Brown and other occupants of his apartment house were gone for the day.
What makes the loss particularly painful for Brown is the fact that it is the same cast-iron tub originally installed in the 1901 Victorian residence that was later converted to apartments.
The tub was taken out during a renovation decades ago. A family member of early owners knew that the tub was sitting in a barn near Uniontown and gave it back to Brown.
Brown was planning to restore the bathroom layout to match the original configuration of the home at 2003 W. 10th Ave. He thought the tub would be safe tucked next to a porch out of sight from the street.
Brown said the tub won’t be hard to identify. His family members had painted the outside of the tub red, one of Brown’s favorite colors, as a favor to him.
Brown said he filed a theft report with police and has alerted scrap dealers as well as a used building supply company.
Officers told him that the theft of building supplies is a major problem in Spokane.
“Someone has to know where a candy-apple red tub was taken,” Brown said.
The reward he is willing to pay is substantial, he said, but he declined to give an amount.
“We could get an old tub somewhere, but it wouldn’t be the same one,” he said.
Brown can be reached at (509) 714-2668.