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Antique shop owner vanishes, dealers to file lawsuit

KNIGHTSTOWN, Ind. (WISH) — Dealers at an antique shop are dumbfounded after the man who ran the store seemed to disappear.

They’re hoping to get their money back, but the problem is they can’t find him.

Dealers say they tried calling the shop owner, Jefferson Jones, but all of sudden he wasn’t answering. When they visited the store in Knightstown, the door was locked with a “closed” sign hanging out front.

The store’s name is “Bittersweet Memories,” a title that right now couldn’t be more true.

Inside a store where the classic and the vintage breathe new life, you can find just about anything that’ll bring back those bittersweet memories of the past.

But what you won’t find is the guy who’s in charge of selling it all.

“I don’t know where he went. I have no clue,” said Bill Gorman, the building owner. He’s the one who leased it to Jones.

“We called (Jones’) mother and she said she didn’t know where he was either.”

Neither do the antique dealers who set up shop in the store. Some have entire booths worth of trinkets and collectibles. Others sold on consignment.

One of them said Jones was recently complaining how business was struggling.

“He had joked with me a couple of times that he might just pull up and go some day. i never expected that he would do it,” said dealer Terry Guerin.

Now the dealers are leaving too. Some have already cleared their shelves. But they’re not leaving without their cash. Gorman said Jones owes him rent money. The dealers say they plan to file a lawsuit.

Several of the dealers got together for a meeting Sunday.

They estimate that Jones owes them around $15,000. Guerin said he’s missing about $800 dollars in missing merchandise.

“The chances of getting money back are slim to none but you just can’t let people you know, get away with these kinds of things,” said Guerin.

“It just looks like he walked out the door locked it behind him,” said Gorman.

The dealers filed a report with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office. We reached out to investigators to see if they’ve made contact with Jones but we didn’t get a call back.

Gorman said he’s trying to get in contact with all of the dealers who had property in the store. If he can’t reach them all, he said he’ll put their items in storage.