Sudden closure of Village Dry Cleaners in Aurora leaves customers in a lurch

Sign on front door says closed due to emergency

AURORA, Colo - Customers who have been loyally patronizing Village Dry Cleaners in Aurora are beginning to wonder if they’ll ever get their clothes back.

The shop at South Peoria Street and East Dartmouth Avenue has been closed since mid-July.  A sign posted inside the front door says, “Closed due to emergency.  Will be back soon.  Sorry.”

One customer said he learned from the GSL Group, the shopping center’s landlord, that the owners of Village Dry Cleaners had to go back to Korea and haven’t been able to come back to the United States.

“Apparently there was an operation (medical) that did not go well and the person who operated the store returned to Korea,” said Scott Shires.

Shires said he’s been using Village Dry Cleaners for three or four years.

“They’ve been great,” he said. They’ve been exceptionally friendly and have taken really good care of clothing, so when I saw the sign, ‘closed, be back soon,’ I didn’t think anything of it and dropped off additional clothing.”

When 7NEWS asked the landlord what customers should do to get their clothes back, he refused to answer, and instead said that news coverage would make the process more difficult.

A note posted on the exterior of the front door states that the landlord is taking Village Dry Cleaners to court for failing to pay his August rent.

“I assumed that the landlord would be more lenient,” said Florence Madonna, another loyal customer. “I don’t think it’s right for anybody to do this to a family who going through so much on their own.  I wish I had the money to pay their rent for them.”

Captain Laurie Halaba, of the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Civil Section, said no eviction notice has been served yet.  She said a court hearing has been scheduled for August 20 and that deputies would then have two to three weeks to serve/post the notice of eviction, which would be carried out 30 days after that.

Halaba told 7NEWS that the clothes inside the store will not be set outside along the curb.  She said the landlord’s law firm is aware that customers want their clothes back and is trying to come up with a way to make that possible.

Attorney James Benjamin, former President of the Denver Bar Association, told 7NEWS that customers, who don’t want to wait for the eviction process, can go to Arapahoe County Court and file a Writ of Replevin.  He said if customers can prove that the store owners are in Korea and aren’t coming back, the judge might be inclined to issue instructions to the Sheriff to seize the clothes in the store and find a way to get them returned to their lawful owners.

For more information about a Writ of Replevin click on this link:

http://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/Forms_List.cfm?Form_Type_ID=31

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