Troubleshooters: Unlicensed plumber extradited to Kentucky following Georgia arrest

Robbie Ashcraft faces numerous theft by deception charges.
Updated: Nov. 1, 2023 at 6:00 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Two stolen cars, no refunds, and criminal charges in two states.

That’s all tied to an unlicensed plumber the WAVE Troubleshooters exposed two years ago. The cases hit a standstill after the plumber skipped his court hearings and left the state.

He’s back in Kentucky now and in jail.

Robbie Ashcraft faces charges in seven counties. Six have already restarted their cases now that Ashcraft is living in the Bullitt County Jail.

He had fled to Georgia where he was trying to make a living as an off-the-books plumber. But that’s not what got him arrested.

“Robbie, I’m Mark Stevens with WAVE 3,” I said. “There’s a copy of a cease and desist letter the state sent you for plumbing. Wanted to know why you’re still plumbing.”

Robbie Ashcraft never answered my question two years ago and after appearing in court in multiple counties he skipped town. At one point court records showed there were six warrants out for his arrest.

Georgia was his apparent hideout, where he pulled the same stunt over and over again with slight variations on the story. He was telling people there he was Chick-fil-A’s master plumber.

“Doing all their new bathroom and kitchen installations, three new restaurants opening up,” Lynna Karanutsos said, after hiring Ashcraft in Georgia.

He wasn’t telling customers he wasn’t a licensed plumber at all.

“He keeps on scamming people over and over and over, and it’s unfair. It’s not about the money now. It’s about him being behind bars,” Eric Shipp said, who had paid Ashcraft $1,700 for work that was never done.

In July, Robbie Ashcraft got caught by the Georgia State Patrol. He wasn’t arrested for violating the state’s plumbing code but for having two stolen cars.

“Hands up, hands up, turn the car off,” shouted the state trooper on dash camera.

Georgia records show a Flock camera got a hit on the license plate of the car Ashcraft was driving as stolen. That started a big police search.

“Keep your hands up. Walk backwards,” the trooper said.

Guns drawn police didn’t find anything except some bags of clothes and some license plates. Ashcraft was ready to talk.

“I just want to get this over with. I’m done running,” Ashcraft told the trooper. “It came to a head last week, and I’ve just been hiding for the last five days.”

He said the Mercedes police stopped him in belonged to a dealership. He had taken it on a permanent test drive after the Jeep he had been driving had brake problems. It had ownership problems too.

“I’m from Kentucky,” Ashcraft said.

“So you stole the Jeep up in Kentuck? From who?” asked the trooper.

“From Nick Mollet,” Ashcraft said.

“Is that a friend of yours?” asked the trooper.

“Yes,” Ashcraft said.

“Why’d you steal his car?” asked the trooper.

“I was trying to buy it, it’s a long story,” Ashcraft said. “I can talk about it, but I don’t want to do it in handcuffs. I’ll tell you what I need to know but sitting like this is not comfortable.”

Police would eventually take him to a Georgia jail but not before checking out everything in that Mercedes, which annoyed Ashcraft.

“My god it’s a stolen car, I didn’t kill nobody man,” Ashcraft said. “What’s that? It’s a stolen car. I didn’t kill nobody. This is crazy.”

Ashcraft pled guilty and was given 53 days in jail for switching the license plates illegally on the Mercedes. He was also wanted for stealing $1,200 from another woman in Georgia. This time for promising to install a mini-splilt in her home. No mini-split and no refund.

Nelson County brought him back to Kentucky where Ashcraft has gone through court hearings in county after county.

“This case that I have right now, I got locked up in Georgia on July 27th, I had this money on my debit card, that money was supposed to have been paid I never did meet her because I was in jail,” Ashcraft said. “I shouldn’t be charged for this.”

“We’ve got a string of crimes ranging from Nelson to Henry to Bullitt to Campbell County,” a prosecutor said. “At this time to ensure his appearance, we need a cash bond in place.”

The Nelson County District Court lowered his bond to $8,000. Cases against him are moving forward in six counties.

Jefferson County has not restarted his case yet.

Ashcraft has court hearings scheduled for next week through January.