New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and Queens District
Attorney Richard A. Brown today announced the arrest of three people who were
selling stolen clothing and other merchandise from an apartment in the Elmhurst
section of Queens. Those arrested include: Cecilia Aguilera, female, age 42;
Maria Valle, female, age 41; and, Alvara Valencia male, age 44. They face
charges including criminal possession of stolen property, possession of
burglar's tools, and failure to report sales tax.
Police launched an investigation after receiving tips that the subjects were
selling authentic, name-brand merchandise at heavy discounts from their
two-bedroom apartment at 42-25 80th Street in Elmhurst. After gathering
sufficient evidence, detectives executed a search warrant on the apartment on
Thursday, February 6, and found vast amounts of clothing, jewelry, and perfumes
worth between $750,000 and $1 million.
Detectives, who also found a "Sensormatic" security tag remover and several
security tags, believe the subjects shoplifted most of the merchandise directly
from retail stores. Among the high-end clothing were products from DKNY, Anne
Klein, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and Victoria's Secret. Police also
recovered Gucci watches and other expensive jewelry.
Police Commissioner Kelly said: "Once again, our officers have done an
outstanding job of uncovering an illegal organization and bringing its
operatives to justice. These criminals profited on the loss of dozens of major
companies and deprived the city of thousands of tax dollars. But now they will
pay the price. Let this stand as another reminder: If you shoplift or sell
stolen property in New York City, know that we doing are everything we can to
catch you and put you in prison."
District Attorney Brown said: "The defendants are alleged to have turned a
two-bedroom apartment in Elmhurst into an exclusive neighborhood boutique with
clothing racks and glass display cases containing a variety of high-end designer
merchandise, women's dresses, pants and blouses as well as jewelry, watches and
perfume, stolen from various manufacturers including Ann Taylor, Banana
Republic, Kenneth Cole and Gap. They will be charged with multiple counts of
Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second Degree and face up to 15
years in prison if convicted."