Consignment shop

Former owner of Timeless Treasures faces trial in embezzlement case

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Phil Gardner, left, and Andrea Bowen-Gardner pose inside their San Luis Obispo Timeless Treasures consignment store.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Rock

A judge ruled there was enough evidence in the embezzlement case against the former owner of Timeless Treasures consignment shop to take the case to court.

Andrea Bowen-Gardner, who owned the former San Luis Obispo store, will appear in court Nov. 2 to be arraigned a second time in the case. She initially pleaded not guilty to all charges in February, but she can change her plea at the next hearing.

If Bowen-Gardner pleads guilty, the case will be resolved. If she pleads not guilty, the case will go to trial.

At least 58 people have accused the Arroyo Grande resident of selling items they entrusted to her without paying for them, The Tribune previously reported.

A former customer told The Tribune that the total value of the items was around $50,000.

Kevin Rock, who alleges Bowen-Gardner stole more than $10,000 from him, said he’s ready to move the case forward.

“I’m frustrated,” Rock said. “I’ve been looking for my own money for a long time that she made me lose.”

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The exterior of Timeless Treasures, Andrea Bowen-Gardner’s consignment shop in San Luis Obispo, before it closed in May 2019. Photo courtesy of Kevin Rock

The district attorney’s office suspects Bowen-Gardner sold the items between December 2018 and June 2019 and said they included furniture, artwork and even an antique radio, according to court documents. She potentially sold some of the items at an auction in May 2019, according to the documents.

Bowen-Gardner allegedly gave plaintiffs bounced checks or neglected to pay them in full, they told The Tribune.

Bowen-Gardner’s attorney, Patrick Fisher, previously told The Tribune that the store owner “vehemently denies” the allegations and accused the district attorney’s office of engaging in “political prosecutions”, which which the bureau denies.

Bowen-Gardner ran the Broad Street consignment store for around three years before being evicted in May 2019 for failing to pay rent.

Bowen-Gardner also faces other money-related costs.

The first is a misdemeanor charge in April 2019 for writing bad checks, and the other two are felony charges filed in July 2019 related to his business practices at Timeless Treasures, The Tribune previously reported.

This story was originally published October 6, 2022 4:21 p.m.

Stephanie Zappelli primarily covers county government for the SLO Tribune. She grew up in San Diego and is a fourth-year journalism major at Cal Poly. When not writing, Stephanie enjoys hiking, reading and exploring SLO.

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Chloe Jones is a forensic and crime reporter at the San Luis Obispo Tribune. She is originally from Phoenix, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and her master’s degree in investigative journalism from Arizona State University. When she’s not reporting, she loves exploring the outdoors and spoiling her two rescue dogs, Camilla and Bugsy Malone.