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Police Arrest Meza Owner in Citywide Bust of Theft Ring [UPDATE]

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UPDATE: Mario Villeges has been cleared of all wrongdoing. The founder of the restaurant Alex Meza has confessed to the crimes he accused Villeges of committing. Read his full statement — and Meza's confession — over at Capitol HIll Seattle.


Police recently arrested the new owner of Capitol Hill restaurant Meza as part of a police bust on a suspected citywide theft ring. According to Capitol Hill Seattle blog, Mario Villegas, 41, was "caught selling two stolen bottles of Moet champagne during a 'buy-back operation' at the 14th Ave restaurant."

He hasn't been charged with anything yet, but police records indicate Villegas stole other items from area grocery stores, sometimes bringing them directly to the restaurant. From "According to police, Meza's owner loaded up shopping carts with expensive items—like champagne—in grocery stores, left the stores, and then had thieves go in and steal the carts."

CHS did some digging on what exactly this means for Meza. The upshot: things are murky over there.

· Capitol Hill Restaurant Owner Busted in SPD Stolen Property Sting [CHS]
· Police Say Ring of Thieves Stole, Resold $750,000 Worth of Champagne, Shampoo, and Spam [SeattleCrime]
[Photo: Charlie D/Yelp]


1515 14th Ave., Seattle, WA