A police raid on a 14th Street NW food store where liquor allegedly was being sold without a license netted a surprise cache of stolen goods, including a Radio Shack computer, 17 adding machines and an assortment of tool boxes taken from houses that were being renovated, D.C. police said yesterday.
"These were not the kinds of items you'd expect to find in a deli," said Robert Rafferty, a police gambling and liquor squad detective. "When we first walked in, we noticed two guns near the cash register and what turned out to be 575 cartons of cigarettes stacked nearby. That was the tip-off right there."
The store, called Pamela's Grocery & Deli, is at 2015 14th St.
At 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, police detectives carrying a D.C. Superior Court search warrant for alleged violation of Alcohol Beverage Control laws, entered the deli and confiscated the suspected goods valued at $10,000 to $20,000.
No arrests were made, but police said an investigation into what appears to be a fencing operation for stolen goods is continuing.
The deli is operated by Pamela Cooper, who was questioned by police about the suspected goods and released.
The deli was closed yesterday, and Cooper could not be reached for comment.
Police described the alleged fencing operation as "good sized," at least for a deli.
Three persons were inside the establishment when police entered it Wednesday, but no one claimed knowledge of the suspected goods, police said.
"We have to show that they knew what was going on before we can arrest them," Rafferty said.
Other confiscated goods included 50 pink pills that were sent to a police chemist for analysis, 680 small bags and a half-pound bulk quantity of suspected marijuana, an air conditioner, two floor buffers, two sewer "snakes," 16 pieces of jewelry, two check-writing machines, four citizen band radios, a meat cutter and seven pieces of silver.