Business owner begins to return customers’ belongings after I-Te - WSMV Channel 4

Business owner begins to return customers’ belongings after I-Team report

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The owner of a Nashville fur store said he can give back most of his customers’ belongings after “finalizing something.”

Keith Lane is the owner of Regency Furs, a business in Green Hills that stores, cleans and sells furs.

Last week the Channel 4 I-Team exposed that many customers had been left in the dark after Lane lost his lease on the building on June 1, shuttering the storefront.

Now the space remains empty.

More than 10 customers reached out to the I-Team, claiming they were without their prized possessions and without answers.

Terri Roth had dropped off the coat she received while pregnant with her first son more than 25 years ago. Roth said she had little luck obtaining information from Lane about where her coat was being kept and when she could receive it.

“It could be in the basement of his house for all we know,” Roth said.

Four days after our story, Lane agreed to meet with some customers in a parking lot to return some of their items.

“For me to drive to this parking lot and have to wait for you is an insult,” said David Fleming, whose wife, Janice, had been tracking down her items for the past two years.

“I apologize,” Lane said.

Janice Fleming gave several items to Lane in June 2014 for consignment. But she never received money from the sale, and she never heard what happened to her items.

Lane returned several items but not all. At one point, the Flemings became frustrated.

“We shouldn't have to chase our stuff all over Nashville,” David Fleming said.

Lane sent e-mails to various customers and even the I-Team, saying the coats were safe in storage and would soon provide details.

Friday afternoon was the first time many customers saw Lane in person since the store closed.

It was also the first time the I-Team could find him in person.

Lane reiterated what he told the I-Team in an email: that the items were safe and he was “finalizing something.”

“I always try to do the right thing,” Lane said. “I'm in the process of finalizing something. There's another party involved and I’m trying to respect the process that I thought would be done by now and it's taking longer than expected.”

Lane said that third party is a potential buyer for the business. But he would not answer how many customers are still waiting and where the furs are being stored.

“Couldn't you arrange something where you met at the storage unit and they can pick it up themselves and kind of just eliminate this middle man?” asked I-Team reporter Alanna Autler.

“No, because it's part of this process,” Lane said.

“What process?” Autler asked.

“Of you hiding everything?” Fleming interjected.

“Sir, I'm not hiding anything," Lane said.

Lane eventually left, but not before saying that there are more troubling issues in the world than his customers’ issues.

Fleming received all but two items. But she said at least something is better than nothing.

“Your involvement has really put a fire underneath of him, and we're very fortunate that you came forward and helped us out,” she said.

Lane later sent an e-mail, listing events in the world worse than his customers’ situations.

He added that it would not be smart to have people meet him at a fur storage vault with very valuable merchandise inside because “that is asking for trouble.”

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