THE owner of a wedding dress shop in Huddersfield has been arrested on suspicion of theft after complaints from angry customers.
Bargain Brides at Moldgreen sells second-hand wedding dresses and passes on a share to the owners.
But some customers say they have not received money after their dresses were sold. Others, whose dresses have not sold, have had problems reclaiming them.
Nine angry customers arrived at the shop, off Wakefield Road, last Saturday lunchtime to confront the owner, who they know as Angela Ackland. They said she had told them to come on that day to collect their money or dresses.
But they were told to come back at 3pm because she had no money until then. The irate customers called the police and waited with Mrs Ackland, who is also known as Angela McKenzie, outside the shop.
A West Yorkshire police spokesman said: "A woman was arrested on Saturday afternoon and has been released on police bail until November 5 pending further inquiries."
When asked on Saturday to comment about her customers' complaints, Mrs Ackland said "no".
The customers said they were at their wits' end. Contacting her was nearly impossible as the shop was often closed and the phone did not work. When they did speak to her, they were given excuses.
Helen Stead, of Dalton, and her husband, Paul, called the police.
Mrs Stead said: "She told us to come today for the money, but then said come back at 3pm. It was the last straw."
She took her wedding gown to the shop two years ago and was told it had been sold six months ago for £250. But despite repeated calls and visits, she has not received her cash.
Jacqueline Rodgers, of Kirkheaton, took her dress there in 1998. When it was unsold after two years she tried to reclaim it, then was told it had sold for £300. Two years later, she is still waiting for her money.
"She said it was bought on instalments," said Mrs Rodgers. "Six months ago, she had the full amount. There have been different excuses since."
Lynn Haworth, of Dalton, took her dress to the shop in 2000 and someone put a deposit on it for a wedding in June this year. But no money was paid after the deposit and Mrs Haworth asked for the dress back.
She went to Bargain Brides with husband John on Saturday, but was told to return on Monday.
Mrs Haworth said: "She said originally someone never paid the rest of the money, but then she told me the girl wore the dress."
Andrea Sparrow, of Almondbury, took her dress to the shop in 1998.
After two years, she was told a deposit had been paid and she would get some cash when the full payment came. No money came and six months ago she asked for the dress.
She was initially told it was lost, but was then told it had been sold. She received no cash.
Jane Wilkinson, of Lascelles Hall near Kirkheaton, who took her dress there in 1998 then decided to reclaim it, said: "Every time I've been past it's been shut."
This year she finally reached the owner and was told the dress was in a charity shop in Huddersfield.
"I can't believe she's done this. She said I never called in for it."
Mrs Wilkinson asked for £50 compensation and said the owner agreed. Despite repeated calls and visits, she has never received any money.
"We want our dresses or our money," she said.
John and Pat Procter, of Birchencliffe, also turned up on Saturday. Their daughter's dress was taken to the shop in 1999. She moved away and they have been trying ever since to collect her cash.
* People with similar complaints should contact Pc Sally Brook on 01484 436724.