Bay area dry cleaners close with customer clothes inside - WFLA News Channel 8

Bay area dry cleaners close with customer clothes inside

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Clearwater dry cleaners closed with clothing inside Clearwater dry cleaners closed with clothing inside
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Ken Grass is among a parade of customers who dropped off a load of clothes at Diamond Dry Cleaning in Clearwater.

But when he went to pick up his order, he found the business, closed, and a sign promising further information, later. He’s missing several items.

“A couple of shirts, a jacket, to get for a wedding on Saturday,” said Grass.

It's the same situation across the bay in Carrollwood at the Martinizing Dry Cleaner on North Dale Mabry.

Rich Howard called 8 On Your Side when he couldn't pick up his pants and shirts that he dropped off a week and a half ago. 

“They're holding our clothes hostage and we have no repercussion what so ever.  No one to talk to and it'd be nice to get our stuff out,” said Howard.

Customers say, they called the phone number posted in the window but get no response.

“It's a little disappointing.  I'd like to get my clothes back. I have an event coming this weekend and got some clothes in there that we could use,” said Scott Gray.

8 On Your Side contacted the owner and his attorney.  The attorney says the owner over-expanded, opening too many stores when the economy took a downturn.

The owner of the store, Jason Shah, and his attorney, both say the stores are going through bankruptcy.  Shah says he can't even get in the place to give customers their clothes back.  Shah hopes to reopen Monday after a bankruptcy hearing.

That's not soon enough for Ken Grass.

“I don't like it at all, of course. I would like to get our stuff for the wedding we're going to,” said Grass.

"Customers are frustrated not knowing what's going on.  There should be more than just a telephone number that barely gets answered by anybody,” said Rich Howard.

Customers who want their clothes back will get answers Monday.  That's when a bankruptcy judge will decide if the company has to liquidate and go out of business.  If that happens, a trustee will sort out the clothes.  The judge can also offer the owner a chance to reorganize and reopen the stores.  Customers should be able to claim their clothing immediately.

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