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Merchandise gone as consignment store unexpectedly closes

Owner claims health problem led to shutdown
Posted: 6:05 PM, Aug 31, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-03 07:57:11Z

LAND O' LAKES, Fla. — Patricia DeBlasio got a big surprise Friday at Encore Consignment in Land O’Lakes to pick up some of her belongings.

She found the store cleaned out and closed, with the owner nowhere to be found.

“Look at all the people that came up here and trusted her," said DeBlasio.

Consignment stores sell goods owned by people and take a commission. Laurie Zoock had a few hundreds dollars worth of designer clothing here.

“The Facebook is disconnected, the website was disconnected, the phone number was disconnected,” she said.

Laurie says she eventually got a message from the owner saying she is sick and sorry about the sudden closure.

In that message, the owner also claimed she would give people’s belongings back, but so far that hasn’t happened.

The message reads in part:

"With deep regrets due to family health issues and the landlord not willing to work with me, it is with a very heavy heart I have had to close Encore Boutique. I am working as fast as I can to sort all of the items and will be contacting each of you."

One woman is out about $2,500 worth of jewelry.

“I ever find this lady, she’s going to be sorry because I’m going to get a lawyer," said DeBlasio.

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office says they are still investigating, but this could end up being a case for civil court.

Experts say always get your consignment agreement in writing. 

But if a store goes bankrupt creditors may be able to take your property to cover debts.