El Paso business welcomed by thieves just weeks after opening

Local News

EL PASO, Ark. – “Right at the very beginning it’s a hard hit to take when you’re trying to get your feet off the ground,” Courtney Hawkins said.

A White County business welcomed by thieves after being open for only two weeks.

Down South is located on Highway 5 in El Paso.

Just days before they opened, someone stole a boat from their home in Faulkner County.

It happened before their store got broken into twice in one night.

They don’t think the incidents are connected and they’re hoping surveillance footage can help find the person responsible.

Down South is a one-stop shop for home decor in El Paso.

“It’s Southern, it’s a farmhouse, it’s Western, it’s chic. We have gifts, furniture. We have everything,” she added.

Hawkins is the owner. She says the business hasn’t even been open for a month.

“We just wanted to bring something to the community,” Hawkins said.

Instead, they got an unwelcome visit from a thief.

“It’s kind of a low blow. It feels like a kick in the teeth,” Hawkins continued.

It all started on April 23, just four days before they opened.

“Someone came around 2 in the morning…2:30 and stole one of our cargo trailers that’s been sitting out here for months,” she explained.

It was all caught on camera.

“They cut off the locks, hooked up to it and left,” Hawkins said.

That’s not the only thing that happened.

“They came back about 5:30 that morning and loaded a bench that was sitting there for about a week in the back of their truck and left with it,” she said.

Randy Rinearson works at the shop. Someone stole a boat from his home in Faulkner County. It happened the day they moved into the business.

“Sometime during the day they came in, backed up to my boat and took it right from under my carport. I just felt violated they came on my property and they were actually there,” Rinearson said.

All this happened in less than 3 weeks, close to $40,000 dollars worth of stuff was taken and the family says.

“Go be a productive person of society and work like everyone else. Don’t steal people’s stuff,” Hawkins advised.

The family has filed a police report.

The bench that was stolen was from Mexico and the trailer was red with chrome on the side.

If you know anything, give the White County Sheriff’s Office a call.

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