Hard hit by flood, business struck again, by burglars

Ashley Rodrigue talks about a saloon recovering from the flood that was burglarized.

INDEPENDENCE – Already reeling from flood damage, a salon owner who was trying to get her business back up and running was set back again when burglars hit her place.


Shalonda Harris said about $15,000 worth of property was stolen. Monday she was looking through what was left.

“They went through all the filing cabinets, all the dressers and drawers, all the desks, and they just took whatever it is they felt they could take in the amount of time they was in this building,” Harris said.

The trailer started as Harris’ dream, a salon, but it quickly grew into a store for clothes, accessories and party supplies. Most recently, she added a tax service.

However, the flood in August put the trailer and her home next door under five feet of water.



Harris said the debris out front was a clear indication that this was a recovering area, making the burglary an even more better pill to swallow.

“How can you come in and take from me?” she asked. “Do you not have a heart?”

Investigators quickly moved into action and were able to arrest 20-year-old Randon Williams and recover all of the stolen items in less than 24 hours.



“They was determined,” Harris said. “I guess plus since the fact there's a lot going on since the flood, a lot of people just looting. They was real determined.”

The sheriff's office gave a lot of credit to the community for helping them solve the case, including a neighbor's security system.

When Allan Sims heard about the break-in, he back-tracked through his surveillance video and found what appeared to be two people going in and out of the trailer over a 40-minute span.

“I just feel blessed,” Sims said. “I feel glad. I feel happy and I’m glad that my security features actually worked out to capture the burglars.”

Harris is now focused on getting her family back home and her business re-opened by the new year. 


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