Multiple crimes pushing business away

Posted at 5:09 PM, Jun 01, 2016

A Riviera Beach business is considering a change in its location after falling victim to crimes multiple times.

Beth Hayne is the operations director of Southeast Hay Distributors.

She said the family-owned company moved into its current location off Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in Riviera Beach eight months ago.

Since then, she said staff have called the police department countless times and had to file three police reports.

Over the weekend, Beth said someone trespassed on the company's property and knocked over dozens of pallets full of shavings.

"It makes things difficult for us to try to work in a neighborhood like this," she said.

She said the location is ideal for her company because it's close to the railroad and the port. The hay company sells its products locally, but also exports a lot of its merchandise.

But the crimes at their location have the managers reconsidering the location.

"You know-- it makes it difficult to want to stay and spend our money in the community. We buy from the gas station around the corner, we take our trucks to local shops and if we move all that business goes with us. I don't want to see that happen," Beth said.

She added that during "season" when equestrian sports are very popular in south Florida, she's able to bring at least twenty local people on to the company's staff.

"We bring in local people to work and we really want to stay and work with the community and offer more jobs in the community than we do already," Beth said.

Beth said all of the crimes taking place at the property involve vandalism, and that the intruders never actually steal anything from the business.

On Wednesday, the company hired some temporary employees to help clean up the mess made over the holiday weekend.

Henry Dorsey of Riviera Beach helped clean up what the criminals left behind.

"They doing stuff they shouldn't be doing and it's costing people money that they shouldn't have to spend," Henry said.

Beth said the company spent more than a thousand dollars to have the mess cleaned up. That cost also included damaged merchandise.

Officials with the Riviera Beach Police Department say the company is located in an area that has high police visibility.