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Tucson-based retailer cuts ties with 3 Colorado stores amid abuse case

(Facebook/Buffalo Exchange)

DENVER (AP) — A vintage clothing retailer based in Tucson, Ariz. has cut ties with three of its Colorado stores after dozens of anonymous allegations of employee abuse surfaced on social media this week.

Buffalo Exchange has stores in 19 states, with three locations in Denver and Boulder.

“As of today, our relationship with the Buffalo Exchange Colorado franchise stores is terminated,” Corporate Vice President Rebecca Block said in an open letter Thursday.

The Denver Police Department with help from the FBI are investigating the allegations against Colorado franchise managing partner Patrick Todd Colletti of sexual assault, underage drug and alcohol abuse, fraud and theft, The Denver Post reported.

The newspaper said nine people shared stories that closely matched and overlapped with those shared on Instagram. Jessica Straughter, who worked as a buyer at the Denver location, told The Denver Post that the stories were true and that she was fired for not enabling Colletti’s behavior.

The Denver location was closed but posted a sign saying that Colletti was “released from responsibilities and associations from The Buffalo Exchange of Colorado,” according to the stores’ Facebook page.

The Denver and Boulder police departments said no police reports have been filed related to the allegations. However, Denver Police did open an investigation into the allegations made on Instagram. The department encouraged potential victims to contact detectives.

Denver Police Detective Shanna Michael, who works with the FBI’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, is providing FBI resources to the Denver department.

A person using Colletti’s full name and personal phone number emailed The Denver Post this week, but did not respond to further requests for comment.

“Take it easy on my scared employees and I will give you a story worth printing,” Colletti said. “Twenty-five years of used pants. Not quite front page but a lifetime of love and community and inclusion. It can’t be lost in a moment of anger.”

Buffalo Exchange has seven stores in Arizona, with locations in Phoenix, Tucson and Nogales.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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