Aurora seizes Village Dry Cleaners for unpaid taxes, returns clothes to customers

City employees will staff counters from 9-1 Friday

AURORA, Colo. - Customers of an Aurora dry cleaning business that closed suddenly are getting their clothes back.

Employees from the City of Aurora’s Tax and Licensing Department manned the counters at Village Dry Cleaners on Thursday asking customers for their receipts and I.D.

They did their best to “reunite” the clothes inside the store with the rightful owners.

Village Dry Cleaners at South Peoria Street and East Dartmouth Avenue closed suddenly in mid-July. A sign posted inside the front door says, "Closed due to emergency. Will be back soon. Sorry."

But the store never reopened.

Aurora’s Manager of Tax and Licensing, Trevor Vaughn, told 7NEWS that the city seized the property this week because of unpaid taxes.

“We volunteered to take the lead and start getting those belongings (clothing and bedding) back to the customers," he said.

At 11:00 a.m. Thursday, there was a line of customers extending out the front door and south on the sidewalk.

Nancy Cumberland was among those in line.

She said she was glad to get her clothes back, but added that there bigger issues than “losing a  week’s worth of clothing.”  She was talking about the owners of the dry cleaners.

“I knew his wife had stomach cancer,” Cumberland said. “And I knew that he dealt with medical issues last year. So, I just have a feeling they were over their heads with financial difficulties.”

Cumberland said the couple who own the store, Yoo Chang Kim and Hye Sung Kim are nice, friendly people.

“They were kind and courteous,” customer Paul Max said. “It’s too bad it had to end this way.”

Vaughn said it is rare that a city gets involved in trying to return items left behind on private property.

“It’s definitely not a normal procedure,” he said.

When asked why the city handled it this way this time, Vaughn replied, “We knew there were a lot of people waiting on their items. Some were left in a lurch. But there was also, primarily, a tax issue with the business.”

Customers who were unable to get to the store today will have another opportunity on Friday.

City employees will staff the counters from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Friday to try to finish the job.

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