Family wants answers after store closes

March 26, 2009 6:24:37 AM PDT
A 90-year-old man and his daughter are in search of an heirloom that has been in the family for more than 70 years, and they are running into dead ends everywhere they turn. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

As we found out, they may not be alone.

Beth Shaw says there are only a few things in life that are precious to her elderly father. His antique pocket watch with his initials JDB is one of them.

"The first to graduate from college in his family, so his dad gave him this gift as a special graduation gift," said Shaw.

Last September, he dropped it off at a northwest side jewelry store and paid $700 to get it fixed.

"My dad being too trusting, paid the full amount of what it was going to cost," Shaw told us.

As time ticked on, Shaw stopped by the store frequently, checking on the progress of repairs.

"I just kept calling or coming by and was told there was one more part to go," said Shaw.

But a couple of weeks ago she found few signs remain of any business. Even the cases were gone and the only jewelry there was in a picture.

"They just decided they didn't have the money to keep it open and they were going to take all of our stuff with them," said Shaw.

The only notice the owners left behind were two phone numbers.

"There's just no way to contact them," said Shaw. "They just ran off with everybody's jewelry and money."

We went to the owner's home. There was a car in the driveway, but no signs of anything else.

"It's kind of odd. They just walked off and left," said neighbor Sean Weik.

Neighbors there say it seems they packed up their house just as quickly as they did the jewelry store. Weik says two 18-wheelers were seen outside the home a couple of weeks ago.

"In probably a couple of hours, they were gone," he said.

Apparently Shaw isn't the only customer searching for jewelry. Weik says everyone is asking the neighbors where the owners might have gone.

"Some customers have talked about a Rolex or an emerald diamond or something," he said. "Very valuable stuff."

Shaw says she's not concerned about the $700 paid for the repairs. She just wants some answers and a very priceless family watch back.

"It's sad that people are so heartless they would take off," she said.

If you're searching for items left for repair at that jewelry store, the Better Business Bureau recommends you do three things.

  • File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau
  • File a complaint with the Harris County district attorney's consumer fraud division
  • Continue stopping by the business to see if there are any signs of the owners
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