Former customers at an Atlantic County consignment shop are searching for answers after the second-hand store suddenly shut down.
“I came back to check on my things on Saturday,” said Amy Defeo, a customer at the Vita Designer Consignment Boutique in Ventnor, New Jersey. “The place was cleaned out.”
Defeo says an empty storefront is all she found where the boutique had been open just weeks earlier.
“I feel duped,” said Defeo.
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Defeo says she brought more than $3,000 worth of clothing to the shop in February to be sold on consignment. Now she wants to know what happened to her clothes.
“It’s sad that people would do this,” said Defeo.
“One day she was here and the next day she was gone,” said Linda Greenspun, a neighboring business owner.
Investigators say eight customers have filed police reports involving a woman who ran the shop ever since the store suddenly closed in the middle of March.
“Everybody’s just really upset,” said Cheryl Sandler.
Ventnor Police have launched an investigation. When contacted by NBC10, the woman’s attorney said her boyfriend, who owns the shop, was the one who shut it down after she left the area due to a personal family emergency.
“My client has not committed any criminal act,” said the woman’s attorney P. Joseph Nicola. “She has not committed any type of wrong-doing in a criminal nature.”
The lawyer tells NBC10 many of the items from the shop are now in a nearby storage locker and he’s working to return them to customers. However, some items were already donated to a local goodwill store.
“There were signs posted within the shop that items left more than 30 days would be deemed abandoned,” said Nicola.
Amy Defeo says that’s not true.
“Why couldn’t you just call us and say it wasn’t working out so we could come get our belongings?” asked Defeo.
The lawyer says he hopes to have many of the items returned by the end of the week. See his contact information below:
P. Joseph Nicola, Attorney