HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – A string of break-ins have been plaguing businesses in downtown Hot Springs.
A man was recently seen busting open store windows just to walk off into the night. Multiple stores on Central Avenue in Hot Springs have experienced this. Renee’s Boutique in downtown has been hit twice, just a week apart.
Now Renee Thompkins, the owner of the boutique, said her employees are scared to come to work.
This last weekend, all in the same night, Hot Springs police said four businesses, including Renee’s, were hit.
“It’s scary,” Thompkins said. “I’ve been downtown 30 years and I’ve never seen this happen before.”
Thompkins’ employees walked into work on Sep. 8 to see glass shattered from a rock being thrown through the window.
“It was high up, so we had that boarded up, called the landlord and they boarded it up, and then we come in exactly a week later, the rock was thrown through the bottom of the window,” Thompkins said.
Through the only glass that was not broken, customers questioned who was behind it and why they were being targeted.
“Is it the same guy doing it?” a customer asked.
“It’s the same guy here I believe but there are two guys doing it,” Thompkins answered.
“At first I thought maybe somebody was picking on me I don’t know but I do know it’s just random,” Thompkins said.
This wasn’t just an isolated incident as just three blocks down the road, the same thing happened to the Buffalo Clothing Company.
“There’s been four businesses that have had their windows knocked out and they are not really stealing anything, they are just vandalizing,” Thompkins said. “It’s kind of hard to sell out of a business that is boarded shut.”
Business owners said the landlords are taking the cost, but they say these windows could cost thousands.
Police said they have not made any arrests, and they are still working to identify the person responsible.