PINE BLUFF, Ark. – A Utah inventor man looking to start his own business in Pine bluff is suffering from a major problem that’s holding him back. That problem is theft.

The old Varco Pruden building, located on West 17th Street was bought by John Fenley, an inventor and entrepreneur.

Fenley has loved science ever since he was a child and bringing a science museum to Pine Bluff is his goal.

But he says “all those plans have kind of been destroyed.”

As he stands in front of a gate that reads “No Trespassing,” he can’t help but be reminded that that rule hasn’t been followed. 

“I’ve been robbed so many times.”

Security footage captures the thieves in action. 

One video shows a man is climbing through a window of the building. In another video you can see two men cutting the bolts off a fence and prying it open to make room for their car. to drive through.

Fenley estimates there has been “$50,000 worth of theft over the past 2 and a half years,” as his science equipment and other products vanish.

Creating a science museum has also been a challenge for Fenley because he is still in the process of getting a permit from the city of Pine Bluff.  

“I’ve been here for two and a half years and can’t get permits to do the repairs that are required to even turn on the power.”

We’ve reached out to the Pine Bluff city Attorney for details regarding Fenley’s delay in receiving a permit for the former Varco Pruden building, but she wasn’t in to take my call.