Aurora seizes abandoned dry cleaners, but no plan yet to connect people with their clothes

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AURORA | Aurora residents locked away from clothes left at an abandoned dry cleaner  business inched only a little closer to being able to reclaim items.

Aurora city tax officials acted on a seizure warrant for Village Dry Cleaners in Aurora Wednesday morning, opening the doors of the property for the first time in more than 60 days.

The dry cleaning business has been closed since mid-July when the owners placed a hand-written sign in the front window that reads, “close due to emergency. Be back tomorrow. Sorry.”

Alex Gebretsadik, manager of the L & A Market adjacent to Village Dry Cleaners said that the owners of the business, a couple from Korea, returned to that country to deal with a health concern in the family.

The store still contains hundreds of clothing items that belong to at least 60 customers who have written their name and phone number on a sheet of paper taped to the front door.

City finance officials at the property this morning said that they are first working to secure the business and there is no plan yet for returning clothing to customers.

“This is really just a tax issue at the moment, if there’s some ability to do something more, then we’ll take a look at what we might be able to do,” Scott Williams, tax and licensing supervisor for the city said.

The question of what city agency may eventually help people claim the clothing in the store is currently in limbo.

“Basically they’re just trying to figure it all out right now,” John Leavitt, a city spokesman said. “Whether the sheriff is going to seize all of the property or the city is going to – for the next few hours there will be discussion between agencies to discuss how to unravel this problem. We haven’t determined a method to get the customers their dry cleaning back, but it’s a priority to get them their things back as quickly as possible.”

The city will post a news release to its website and Facebook and Twitter pages once a plan for returning the clothing has been established, according to Leavitt.