A Wilmington consignment store recently changed hands, and it seems the old owner has left hundreds of customers high and dry. Much of the merchandise customers had consigned at Hand-Me-Downs on Kerr Avenue is missing, and so is the money the consigners were owed for merchandise that had already sold. The customers and the new owner have a mess on their hands, and the old owner is nowhere to be found. "I just cleaned out a closet, I took a couple jackets, and old jewelry box, some kind of costume jewelry, a good stack of stuff, it took a couple of trips to bring it in the store,” said customer Jennifer Kostel who was looking for a way to make a few extra bucks. She took her clothes and jewelry to hand-me-downs consignments on Kerr Avenue a couple of months ago, and recently returned to pick up the money for the items that had sold. That's when she was told her clothes were gone, and so was the money. "It makes me feel like I was ripped off, first and foremost. I feel like stuff was stolen from me" Julie Strickland bought the Hand-Me-Downs store earlier this month from the previous owner, Lorraine Meyer. She paid Meyer $25,000 to take over the business, only to inherit a huge mess. "Pretty much, I think she took people’s money, or their items, and just bounced and ran.” Strickland said Meyer was supposed to settle up with all of her existing customers whose items had already sold. Judging by the dozens of complaints Strickland has received since taking over, that didn't happen. Making matters worse, a lot of valuable merchandise is missing, and Strickland said Meyer deleted all the computer records showing what customers had brought in to sell. "Its hard to deal with her because, she's disconnected her phone number, she just pretty much fell off the face of the earth,” Strickland said. Meanwhile, Strickland is staying busy doing damage control with customers, who are out their merchandise and their money. Attorneys we spoked to say Strickland certainly has a civil case against Lorraine Meyer for breech of contract. In addition, the customers at hand-me-downs may be able to pursue this in the criminal areana, since the merchandise they entrusted to Meyer is nowhere to be found. Update: After this story aired, Lorraine Meyer's husband contacted our newsroom, saying she hadn't been able to settle up with her customers because of a computer glitch. He assured us checks would be going out the first week in March. We'll keep you posted.
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