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Shopper: Columbia business raided by Homeland Security sold bootleg movies

The Department of Homeland Security was investigating at a north Columbia clothing store Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators were seen going in and out of the Lifestylez store on Vandiver Drive, loading items into vehicles.

People from neighboring businesses told ABC 17 News they saw investigators loading up trucks with merchandise and computers.

ABC 17 News checked with the city and the business is owned by Vernon T. Sanders. According to the city, his business license is current.

ABC 17 News put in calls to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas City, but they’re not giving details at this time.

One shopper, who asked to remain anonymous, told ABC 17 News the store sold more than just clothes.

“The movies, they’re pretty cheap,” the shopper said. “they do get the ones that are still in theaters.”

The shopper said the sale of movies wasn’t advertised.

“He put them behind the shelf and now you have to look in a binder and see what movies you want and he would grab them for you,” the shopper said.

This shopper said they only ever paid in cash and the movies were only $3.

“Some of them are, you know, in Chinese lettering and blurry and you can hear audiences in them,” the shopper said.

The anonymous shopper told ABC 17 News the store may have been under investigation for a while now.

“I was currently up there about two weeks ago and the cops were circling the parking lot,” the shopper said. “I don’t know if it was in reference to Lifestylz or not, but a lot of people have said the cops have been looking after the store.”

The shopper said they think the cheap movies are what attracted most customers to the store, which doesn’t even show up on a map.

“A lot of people in Columbia go there,” the shopper said.

ABC 17 News went back out to the scene after investigators wrapped up the search and in the 20 minutes our crews were on the scene, eight cars drove up to the store to go in, only to find it was locked.

As of Wednesday night, the Lifestylez store was closed and there was no word on whether Homeland Security had taken anyone into custody.

Stay with ABC 17 News for the latest on this developing situation.

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