Three smash-and-grabs frustrate Blytheville boutique owner

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BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. -- After three smash-and-grab robberies, the owner of Diane's Boutique in Blytheville is wondering whether it's worth the hassle to stay open.

In May we told you about several break-ins along Main Street in downtown Blytheville, Ark., where store-front windows were smashed and merchandise  stolen.

The latest break-in at Diane's Boutique happened Monday night and has left the store's owner and manager literally picking up the pieces.

Moss described the mess she found Monday night at her store in Blytheville.

"Man. I couldn't believe it, I was so shocked. I'm thinking, like, did they shoot my place up. I mean it looked like they just shot up my place," said Moss.

It wasn't gunfire, but jagged rocks from alongside a nearby railroad track, that someone used to break the front window of her boutique on Main Street.

It's the third smash-and-grab at Diane's since it opened in May.

"You know, you try to take everything you got to put into a business and it's hard. So when you come and try to take from me, that just messes things all up," said Moss.

The first break-in happened May 8th, six days after the grand opening of the store.

"They took clothing, my shoes, my purses, my jewelry. They really hit me really hard last time," said Moss.

A second break-in happened within 24 hours of the first.

In May, WREG told you about how merchants banned together to help police catch the vandals and thieves responsible.

Break-ins slacked off after a few arrests, but in Monday night's break-in, security cameras recorded three suspects taking the Boutique's cash register and an iPad.

The iPad and cash register were recovered, but it's unknown how much money was taken.

Store Manager Don Driskell said the break-ins go against the mission he and Moss have for their store.

They would rather help the community by possibly providing a few jobs, but they've had to spend a lot of money buying a high-tech security system and replacing stolen merchandise.

Driskell said he'd rather the three suspects had taken the time to visit Diane's Boutique in a normal manner, and not broken windows to get inside.

"I really wish they would have walked through the door and said, 'Mr. Don, I'm looking for a job. Help me out. Where can I go," said Don Driskell.

A detective with the Blytheville Police Department said investigators are close to identifying suspects, who are possibly juveniles, after reviewing the Boutique's security camera video.

Meantime, Diane's Boutique is scheduled to re-open August 29th.

Driskell said the business will open at 5 p.m. for a special event to thank members of the community for their support.


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