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March 13, 2015

For more information contact:
Detective LeAnn Whitney
, Renton Police Department, 425-430-7500
Terri Vickers, Public Information Officer, 425-430-7520

Renton Woman Scams Would-Be Renters
Police believe additional victims have not yet made reports

A Renton woman faces multiple charges of Felony Theft after scamming more than ten families out of nearly $50,000.00. 

Cookie Saovongxay listed her former residence, a house on Cedar Avenue in Renton, as available “for rent” on the Craigslist and Zillow websites.  She showed the house to potential renters, had them sign leases, and collected payment amounts between $3,800.00 and $5,700.00 from each.  Saovongxay, a twenty-year old college student, does not own the house.

“These families have nowhere to go,” said Detective LeAnn Whitney.  “They’ve given notice at their current place and gave their first/last/deposit money to Cookie Saovongxay.  They don’t have money left to put a deposit down somewhere else.  This woman’s scam has left these families homeless.”

The thefts were first reported to Renton police on February 15; since then, an additional nine victims have come forward – and police believe there are more.  Despite having been arrested for Felony Theft, Saovongxay continued the scam, luring potential renters via web posts and cashing their deposit checks.  She was arrested again, and is scheduled for arraignment on March 16th for charges stemming from the first report.

Renton Police are asking anyone with information about the scam, especially those who have been victimized by Saovongxay’s greed, to call 425-235-2121 and make a report.  “The more cases that are reported, the more charges we can file against her,” said Detective Whitney.