SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The South Charleston Police Department is lacing up for a long journey ahead as officers begin to give back hundreds of shoes that some customers of a local shoe repair shop have been missing for over 20 years.

“The task is a lot more than I thought it would be,” said Brad Rinehart, South Charleston Police Chief.

Rinehart said the problems all started late last year when his office received several complaints about the owner of Taylor Shoe Repair. Customers said they dropped off their shoes but never got them back.

“We got a lot of complaints from people,” said Frank Mullens, South Charleston Mayor. “We want to get the shoes back to those folks. They went above and beyond the call of duty on this one, but the end result is a good thing.”

Taylor Shoe Repair, which has been open for more than nine decades, abruptly closed in March of this year due to the complaints and financial reasons. Ever since, Rinehart said they’ve begun removing truckloads of shoes and other items that were dropped off to be repaired over the years.

“I went over probably a little over a month ago, and I filled two pickups with shoes,” Rinehart said. “We’re in the process of calling about 100 people this week. I have 100 pairs of shoes in my vehicle, we’re getting ready to put them out on tables and hopefully those people respond.”

Even though the process has been a big undertaking, Rinehart said they’re taking it one step and one shoe at a time.

“We go above and beyond at times and I don’t know if other cities would’ve taken this property on and done this task, but the mayor loves our residents and even though some of these customers weren’t our residents it’s a business in our city,” He said. “We got to help out and go above and beyond and that’s what we did here.”

The South Charleston Chamber of Commerce said if you dropped your shoes off and are missing them, to contact the South Charleston Police Department at 304-744-6903, ext. 3 and give them a description of the shoes.