UPDATE (3:40 p.m.)—Piles of clothing and other personal items belonging to consignors filled the parking lot behind after the local business was evicted from its location Friday afternoon.
Owned by James and Patricia Lawler, Repeats Quality Consignments sold consigned items, such as clothes, furniture and other goods furnished by local residents. The shop and consignors split the proceeds when an item was sold. After learning they would be evicted on Friday, the Lawlers stored "three truckloads" of merchandise on Thursday but they were unable to retrieve every article, according to James Lawler's cell phone voicemail greeting.
Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Deputy and spokesman Harry Neisser confirmed that the business had been evicted and said that a deputy oversaw the removal process.
With law enforcement overseeing the eviction, workers removed items from Repeats Quality Consignment and placed them in a parking lot behind the South River Colony shopping center.
James Lawler told Patch he moved the shop’s merchandise to five storage units and that most of the items dumped in the parking lot were clothes. He also claimed the management company was to blame for the mistreatment of consignors’ property.
“The only thing that was lost in all this was whatever the management company put out back. Everything else is safe and sound. Everyone will be compensated,” he said. “I know this is messed up. Trust me, it’s not good, but we’ve lost everything. I’m not out to hurt anybody.”
Anne Arundel County law allows landlords to place tenant property in open areas following an eviction.
"When an eviction is necessary, landlords may place the tenant's property in the county road right-of-way for a period of 48 hours," according to the county's website.
James Lawler admitted that he and his wife had notice of the eviction but said, “We’re new to this,” citing he didn’t expect things to happen so quickly.
Some consignors who had partnered with the Repeats Quality Consignment said they were blindsided by news of the eviction.
Linda Suit said she consigned some "very expensive items" with the store and didn't know that the consignment shop was evicted Friday.
"I have no idea whether my things were taken or dumped out in the back," Suit said. "I am shocked because I had no notice. I was in there a couple of weeks ago ... nothing was said."
Another consignor, William Welch, said he had no idea if his possessions were stored properly or placed in the parking lot.
Another man who said he had consigned many items and asked to remain unnamed said that when he learned of the eviction, he immediately went to Repeats Quality Consignments on Friday.
When he got to the pile of merchandise in the parking lot behind the store, he said many people were there sifting through the items. Joe Valentino, owner and general manager of located in the same shopping center, said he saw "many, many" people rummaging through the pile throughout the weekend.
The consignor who wanted to remain unidentified said that he found 15 of his own personal items in the pile, but that he is missing more than 100 other pieces of merchandise.
The greeting message on James Lawler's cell phone was an apology lasting several minutes.
"We are deeply, deeply sorry. We busted our butts to the end and we thought we could pull it off this week," the message said. "We're deeply sorry if you had stuff out back. I apologize."
The message concluded with, "I don't know. We're just really embarrassed right now. We're going to figure it out and everyone will be compensated."
According to comments on the , Patricia Lawler said she and her husband are in the process of contacting all the consignors and compensating them for their items.
However, also on the listing are several angry consignors, frustrated by the surprising news.
James Lawler said he and his wife plan to set up a “makeshift shop” and are setting up their computers to deal with the current situation. He said they plan to return all the consigned merchandise.
“I know this doesn’t look good at all, but I do want to fix it and I will fix it,” he said. “Trust me, I’ve lost more than any of these people. A piece of furniture is nothing. Me and Tricia have lost everything in this mix.”
Approximately 700 people consigned items with , James Lawler said.