St Nix Collectibles, Toys and Antiques is closing their brick and mortar store in February due to more than $50,000 worth of inventory being purchased with a bad check.
A man in his late 60s entered St. Nix Collectibles Toys and Antiques on Main Street in Longmont, on Dec. 2, asking to purchase “one of everything” for charities. Business owner, Virginia Miskel, agreed to this request and the man said he would pick up the merchandise the next day. He left his business card and debit card at the store.
“We looked him up. He owned a local business. He had a nice home. He had a nice property. So it wasn’t like some random guy that we didn’t do any due diligence or looking up any information on him. We did. We did a lot of looking before we did anything with him,” said Nicholas Marquiess, Miskel’s partner.
The register system could only process about 50 items and the man’s debit card was declined, according to Miskel. She contacted the man to inform him of the declined card and he assured Miskel that he would provide a different card the next morning.
Miskel said the man paid for about $6,000 worth of merchandise the next morning before the new card was declined.
The man told Miskel he would contact his bank and sort out the situation.
On Dec. 7, the man returned to the store and gave Miskel a blank check to pay for the rest of the merchandise, she said. The check was made out for $56,400.30 to cover the remaining balance. The man asked Miskel not to cash the check until Dec. 16 due to a lack of funds available in his account, she added.
On Dec. 16, Miskel contacted her bank to verify that the check had been processed and the bank allegedly told her everything was cleared. On Dec. 20, the man picked up all of the merchandise he had purchased, according to Miskel.
The next day, the check was declared NSF, which means nonsufficient funds, Miske saidl.
Following an investigation by the Longmont Police Department, the only payment the authorities are aware of was the bad check and not the $6,000 payment, Detective Stephen Desmond told the Leader. No transactions via credit or debit card were discovered, he said.
Miskel was able to get in touch with the man’s son and reclaim most of the merchandise the man picked up on Dec. 20. An estimated $5,000 is still missing, Miskel said.
Although, most of the merchandise is still sellable, the store missed out on its busiest month, December.
“December is one of the busiest shopping months for a toy store so we expected our December month to be in the 15 to $20,000 range,” Marquiess said.
Miskel and Marquisse said they were excited to have a large sale and decided to purchase gifts for homeless shelters and charities from the profits they believe they had made on the sale. After discovering the funds were never theirs, the couple was unable to pay rent. They decided to close the store and move their business online, Miskel said..
“Our account should’ve been at like a 9 to $10,000 range … our account was at like a hundred bucks after the check,” Marquiess said.
The police are still investigating the situation but have not filed charges against the man. According to a post from Miskel on Facebook, the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office has indicated that it will not be filing charges.
Desmond said there’s no sign that the suspect knowlingly gave a bad check and without proof of ill intent, making the possibility of a criminal case low. He also indicated that doesn’t exclude the owners from seeking a civil suit.
While the investigation is pending, Miskel and Marquisse started a GoFundMe to hire an attorney.
“It’s so we can sue this guy. We want to make it known that you can’t just do that to people,” Marquisse said.
St Nix Collectibles, Toys and Antiques, at 337 Main Street, will be closing but Miskel hopes to continue with the online shop.