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Solution Found For Long Island Residents Who Thought They Were Being Taken To The Cleaners

Customers Of An Evicted LI Dry Cleaner Can Pick Up Their Missing Clothing

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WESTBURY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A dry cleaning dilemma has come to an end for dozens of customers on Long Islands.

A long line of frustrated customers were waiting outside of what used to be Lewis Cleaners in Westbury on Friday, when a truck filled with their clothing finally arrived to bring relief.

“Just in time, that’s what I’m happy about,” Karyl Taylor told CBS 2’s Don Champion.

Taylor had spent days waiting to find out what happened to her prom dress. She brought the garment to Lewis Cleaners for tailoring, but when she returned to pick it up, the store had been shut down and the owner had been evicted.

“It would have been horrible considering I don’t want to get a dress, and then I wouldn’t find a dress like the one I had,” Taylor said.

After the eviction all of the clothing at the cleaners was taken to storage for 30 days, but on Thursday the county stepped in and had it released early for customers to pick up on Friday morning.

The evicted dry cleaner watched from a distance as customers picked up their clothing, but he sped off when CBS 2’s cameras approached him.

Court records show that Moo Wong Lee was given eviction papers in February, by that time he was $40,000 in debt. The property owner told CBS 2 that he tried to be patient with his longtime tenant.

“I guess he didn’t believe it was really going to happen, but sooner or later it had to happen,” Richard Salant said.

The dilemma caused one woman to replace clothing that she’d taken in for a weekend wedding.

“This is ridiculous that I had to spend $800,” Michelle Spindell said. “It’s hard times right now, before somebody goes out and has to spend $800 for something they have.”

Anyone with questions about their clothing can call the Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs. Clothing should be available for pick-up at the dry cleaners between noon and 4 p.m. The property owner told CBS 2 that he has already gotten a call from someone interested in opening a new dry cleaners.

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