Update: In an unrelated matter, Mamaroneck Village police say Mendes was due in Court Thursday on an assault charge dating back to December, 2010. Police say he did not appear and will be called to appear again.
Saturday’s police activity at Plaza Bootery in Larchmont was apparently the result of the store’s owner robbing a customer and then fleeing, according to several sources. The apparent robber had not been apprehended as of press time.
A witness tells theLoop she went to the store with a friend and store owner Lee Mendes “pushed (her friend) on her side and took her pocket book” while arguing with her about a pair of shoes. Continued calls to Larchmont Police Detectives were not returned.
Several readers contacted theLoop with the same or similar information over the weekend.
The two women, who work in Larchmont and who asked not to be identified, visited the store Saturday. “He told us if we paid cash, we could get a discount,” the witness said, “so my friend went to the bank to get cash.” The friend, she said, has known Mendes and his family for many years. While they were in the store and just before the alleged incident, she said, they had been looking at family photos together.
“He just kept watching her,” she said.
The witness tells us her friend asked Mendes for “a pair of shoes in size 11, for her son, and he kept going downstairs and bringing back the same shoes in size 10. Finally,” she said, “he brought back the shoes, and he had ripped out the label and wrote size 11 on it.”
When her friend said, “What are you doing? You changed the label!,” the witness said, “He grabbed her bag and ran downstairs with it.”
He left the building through the basement before police arrived.
The witness says that both she and her friend were questioned by police, who produced “an old xeroxed picture of him, that didn’t really look like him anymore.”
She says the Larchmont police detective said he could not arrest the suspect without positive identification.
The store was open for business today.
Mendes already faces charges for allegedly selling counterfeit Ugg boots and North Face clothing.