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Downtown merchants looking for plant bandits

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A number of businesses on Main Street have been hit with a recent string of plant thefts, including the Grass Roots Salon (formerly Downtown Tanning) and Farmers Bank and Trust.
A number of businesses in downtown Blytheville who have been the victims of plant thefts have come together to ask the community for its help in spotting the thieves.

Grass Roots Salon, Farmers Bank and Trust and a seniors group from Pathway Ministries, which was sponsoring a downtown planter box, have all had plants stolen over the last few months, some having been hit on multiple occasions during that time.

Only one police report has been filed so far, which was filed by Grass Roots owner Adrian Belford back in May, but business representatives said its because the amount of damages hasn't been extensive enough to file on an insurance claim. The thefts are still inconvenient for the owners who are now asking the community to keep an eye open for suspicious behavior on Main.

"It gets to the point where most people aren't even going to file a police report because they can't claim it on their insurance," Mail Boxes and Beyond owner Tobye McClanahan said, speaking for Belford, who is out of town. "When it happened the first time, they replaced them and hoped it wouldn't happen again. But now that it keeps happening, it's become a problem."

The victims of the thefts are asking people to be more aware of what's happening around them while on Main Street and to report anything that seems out of the usual.

"I can't believe no one has seen it happen," said McClanahan. "We're trying to keep Main Street looking nice, but now we need the public's help keeping it that way. It's especially awful for Pathway's planter. That's just a small group of volunteers working to make the area look better."

L.V. Rigney, with Pathway Ministries, could not be reached for comment at press time.

Blytheville Police Chief Ross Thompson said the department is staying aware of the situation.


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