Arlington Cobbler Vanishes With Shoes

By Peg Rusconi, WBZ-TV

ARLINGTON (CBS) —  At the Arlington House of Pizza, the Morcos brothers serve a mean slice.

But lately, people like Lori Greene are stopping in to ask about shoes.

“He said you guys were such good friends he was going to bring the shoes here,” she said to the Morcos brothers, who’d heard nothing about it.

She was talking about the cobbler two doors down, whom she paid to fix some prized, and pricy, boots.

“They were a pair of Gucci boots that were missing a buckle.  It was a small job, like $40, but the boots were worth like a thousand,” said Greene. 

When she returned to the shop, it was empty; closed without warning.  She called police.  

“We have 23 victims now, some had thousand dollar shoes,” said Inspector Brian Fennelly.

One of the first challenges for investigators was figuring out exactly who they were looking for.  The name on the sign is David, but this guy’s name isn’t David.  He’d file a few police reports, but always used a different name.  But one involved a missing license plate which police were able to trace.

“We had to track him down through his wife’s Mercedes,” said Fennelly.

Fennelly says the vanished cobbler is James Richemond, age 49, of Medford with enough aliases and old addresses to fill 52 pages.

Fennelly called his cell phone.

“He said he had everyone’s property.  He said he hadn’t sold anything, that he did the work and has everything.”

But in the two weeks since?

“He hangs up right away.”

Fennelly said he doesn’t know where Richemond is.  Richemond’s wife told us he’s in Haiti, but is expected back Wednesday.  She didn’t know if he had the shoes.

Back at the Arlington House of Pizza skepticism could be a menu item.

“You know what? He’s not honest,” Wagih Morcos told Lori Greene.

They’ll find out if that shoe fits on Thursday, Richemond’s police-ordered deadline to make good.

Police say Richemond has no criminal history, but will face a long list of charges if he doesn’t return the footwear and the money.

  • caroussel

    I’m having a hard time feeling sorry for anybody stupid enough to spend a thousand dollars on a pair of boots.

    • Arlington

      Caroussel: You must be a real moron, if all you take from this story is the cost of her boots! It doesn’t matter how much she paid. Over 23 hard working people have been scammed by this criminal. If you can afford to spend $1,000 on shoes then God Bless!

  • Louisa

    I don’t see what’s wrong with someone spending their hard-earned money any which way they want. Caroussel, why are you jealous? You call people names because they spend $x on a shoe? Wow. Calm down. It’s not the end of the world.

  • cynic

    I got a nice pair of Penny Loafers at Goodwill for four bucks.

  • jaygee

    Putting aside the cost of shoes & boots, how about this guy whose name is not David and all of the aliases and addresses he’s used along with his wife who I have to assume knows everything except where her husband is at present. Maybe he brought all of the footwear to Haiti where he can sell and make a good profit.

  • Cynic

    Oh by the way…don’t call him a Cobbler…..A Cobbler could make you a Pair of Shoes.All these people can do is glue on a thin slip of leather that will wear out in a month. There hasn’t been a Cobbler Shop since Mr. luongo closed up his shop in Quincy over 30 years ago.One of the nicest men I ever knew. He was still there every day in his Eighties.

  • Intrepid

    Is David Charlie Rangel’s brother?

    Let me guess, David’s a Democrat who intends to challenge Scott Brown in a few years. He’ll find a lot of support in Arlington; there must be a total of three Republican’s who live there.

  • bosfob

    This guy gave me a really hard time with trying to reclaim my boots (no they were not $1000 boots!). He made me come back 3 or 4 times, acted like he could never find them, and once told me he had taken them home!!! I came very close to calling the police. AND he was arrogant, outright rude, and condesending on top of it. GOOD RIDDANCE – go home and stay there. Maybe the police should look into the fact that I saw a housing check on his counter, next to his MERCEDES key fob. A scam artist out to rip off customers, and likely taxpayers. So, you should care instead of laughing about it.

  • Disappearing Arlington Cobbler Says He’s Coming Back « CBS Boston – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and Boston's Best

    […] (CBS) — Arlington police say a cobbler who closed up shop, leaving dozens of customers wondering if they’d ever get their shoes o…, says he’ll return the footwear next […]

  • Heather Silvestro

    So, what was the outcome…did the cobbler return the shoes? If not, what happened to him?

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