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.