Consignment con makes off with thousands
Sun, 23 Mar 2014 03:14:20 GMT — A month after thousands of dollars of merchandise from a consignment shop in Harlingen went missing, the owners say more victims keep coming forward and police are getting nowhere.Family heir looms, art and jewelry are all gone after a man broke into Rustica Mexican Imports and Fine Arts in downtown Harlingen last month.Nails and holes litter the walls where dozens of frames once hung. "The back room had been demolished, it was completely empty, we even had a wall missing, Rustica co-owner Debbie Allen said. Debbie and Bert Allen have gone over all the items missing they say were stolen by their former tenant and business partner Carlos. "The last count I did we were close to $22,000," Debbie said. After Carlos fell months behind in rent, the Allen's kicked him out and changed the locks. The next day all the merchandise in his room was gone and Carlos was nowhere to be found. "We don't know where to look or how to help these people in this book," Debbie said. Now those who left their items with Carlos on consignment are coming in and finding out their art, jewelry and family heirlooms are gone and so are those who began putting down payments to purchase them. "I have to look at them and tell them their stuff has been sold 2 or 3 times over and their money has been pocketed, Debbie said. Then they sit there and cry and I don't blame them." It's now been three weeks since Debbie spoke with the detective assigned to the case. She says she can't get a hold of him. "I've only talked to the detective once, Debbie said. The cops aren't involved." With more victims coming forward each day Debbie says she needs more help from police. "This gentleman is getting away, we need to get the cops on this right of way," Debbie said. But Debbie is confident Carlos won't get away with it for long. "He's hurt so many people he won't even be safe in Mexico, Debbie said. If there is anyone who left anything of value with Carlos, the Allens are asking you to come forward so they can help identify every victim and find their things. Action Four is still waiting to hear back from the detective working the case.