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Money, equipment locked up in closed Play It Again Sports, customers say

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Two locations of a popular store on the First Coast have closed, and on Thursday customers said they're still owed money from the establishment.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Two locations of a popular store on the First Coast have closed, and on Thursday customers said they're still owed money from the establishment.

Sabrina Edwards brought used sports equipment to Play It Again Sports, a consignment store in Orange Park. Her son, like any growing boy, churns through sports gear.

"Skateboard, cleats, golf equipment. It was a whole bunch of stuff," Edwards said.

Claude Sunderman put a treadmill on consignment at the Play It Again Sports in Mandarin.

"They said we have plenty of room and would be glad to take it on consignment for you," Sunderman said.

Play it Again Sports arranged to pick the treadmill up from his house. When he called days later to check on its status, a store clerk said the treadmill sold the same day it was picked up.

"He said we cut you a check for $200. It's in the mail," Sunderman said. "Come Thursday, no check. Come Friday no check. Come Saturday no check."

Both locations, one on San Jose Boulevard and another on Blanding Boulevard are owned by Richard and Shelly Alexander.

By this Thursday, the store on Blanding Blvd. is empty and the Clay County Sheriff's Office posted more than one eviction notice on the front door.

On San Jose Blvd., there're thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise inside, but the front door has chains and a padlock around it.

"I had no phone calls returned or anything," said Chris Onushack, who wants to return an item he bought and said doesn't work.

"I would like to see him at least man up and get people their money back or their products back," he said.

So, why - all of a sudden - would the stores close with everyone's stuff inside?

The First Coast News Investigators found a lawsuit filed last month against the Alexanders and their stores.

The lawsuit says they've defaulted on a $540,000 loan. They still owe $470,000, according to the bank. It also says that the bank gets, among other things "inventory," inside the Alexanders' stores.

"It's irritating. It's not the amount of money in my case. It's the idea that they took the item and didn't pay for it," Sunderman said. "Somebody has got $400 made off that treadmill. $200 of it is mine."

The lawsuit was served to Play it Again Sports three days before a crew showed up at Claude Sunderman's house to take his treadmill.

"They knew at the time, or I believe they knew at the time, they could not provide the payment to me for the item they picked up," he said.

Sunderman filed a police report in St. John's County where he lives.

It's where the store owners live, too. We tried to go to the Alexander's home and ask about the merchandise. The address listed on their business license is behind a security gate at Palencia.

"If you do wrong, correct your wrong," said Edwards, who says she wants to set a good example for her son.

A third Play it Again Sports location, in Ponte Vedra Beach, is not associated with the closed stores.

A corporate representative says each store is independently franchised. For that reason, the store in Ponte Vedra is not able to facilitate concerns left by the closed locations.

The Alexanders have hired an attorney who has not returned phone calls asking about customer's products.

"Allow me to use my credit. Allow my son to redeem his consigned items," Edwards said.