RENTON, Wash. - According to investigators with the Renton Police Department, the shelves at Tienda Latina are stocked with stolen merchandise.
Since January, detectives have been conducting surveillance on the Harrington Avenue Northeast business and interviewing people who admit they sold stolen goods to store owner Maria Elena Ramirez-Perez.
Ramirez-Perez, 48, wasn't happy when a KIRO 7 crew confronted her on Friday about the allegations detailed in police documents.
“I have nothing to say,” she told reporter Amy Clancy.
According to the documents filed in King County Superior Court, Ramirez-Perez even placed specific orders about what she wanted people to steal for her: Coach purses and Louis Vuitton merchandise as well as Jack Daniels, steak, chicken and high-end make-up.
One confidential police source estimated that “he/she was selling about $3,000 in merchandise to the owner each week.” The documents said that Ramirez-Perez would buy the items for cash, then sell them for a profit.
When Clancy said to Ramirez-Perez, "You're buying stolen goods to the tune of over a hundred thousand dollars a year, we've read the search warrants, where's that money going?," again the store owner simply said, “I have nothing to say.”
Ramirez-Perez was recently arrested and booked into the SCORE (South Correctional Entity) jail in Des Moines, but she is now back on the job in Renton, where she said what police are claiming isn’t true.
“I can deny the allegations, yes,” she told Clancy.
So far no criminal charges have been filed.
According to the Renton police documents, the case may expand and more people may be investigated about what’s allegedly happening at Tienda Latina.