FBI agents descended on Rancho Shopping Center in Los Altos last week to execute a search warrant at a lice-removal salon.
Agents arrived at LoveBugs, located at 1148 Riverside Drive, at approximately 8 a.m. Dec. 5, according to employees and members of FIT, a gym with large windows facing the salon. Agents remained at the salon until at least 11 a.m.
“Eight agents went in there with their guns drawn,” said Thom Downing, the gym’s owner. “It looked like guys were looking in the ceiling. They immediately started taking out boxes. It looked like something business related. They were clearing it out – all the computers. It looked like they were taking everything out of there.”
“I saw three or four people going in and out with suitcases, like they were going to box some stuff up, like they were taking evidence,” added Rick Dyer, a FIT employee.
FBI officials confirmed the raid Thursday but could not provide details about the case.
“The FBI served a federal search warrant at the Los Altos business,” FBI spokeswoman Cameron Rogers Polan wrote in an email to the Town Crier. “The affidavit supporting the warrant has been sealed by a court, and I am therefore prohibited from commenting as to the nature of the ongoing investigation. No arrests were made.”
The FBI notified the Los Altos Police Department of the activity before it occurred, but the agency did not request assistance, according to police Capt. Scott McCrossin.
Reached by phone Dec. 5, LoveBugs owner Mailana Mavromatis dismissed the incident.
“This was a mistake,” Mavromatis said. “It was nothing. They have to do what they have to do, but it has nothing to do with us.”
Mavromatis opened her first LoveBugs salon in Lafayette in 2006, followed by the Los Altos branch in November 2011. The business uses a nontoxic, vegan solution her mother, Marika Mavromatis, concocted in Greece 40 years ago to rid children of head lice.
Downing said there’s been seemingly little drama at LoveBugs since Mavromatis moved in across Riverside Drive.
“That business has been there a long time, and it looked like they were a legitimate business,” he said. “I don’t know what happened. They have pretty regular traffic in and out of there most of the time, but nothing has ever been suspicious going on there.”