Investigators confirm burglars broke into the old Lowrey Hotel in downtown Poteau this week, causing hundreds of dollars in damage.
Poteau police are still trying to catch the suspects accused of also trying to break into a second business.
“The drawers were turned upside down,” said Bob Lowrey, who serves on the board of the LeFlore County Historical Society. “They went through files. They went through papers.”
The LeFlore County Historical Society is converting the old hotel into a museum. Lowrey says the suspects got away with a computer, lamp, and records that may not be replaceable. He said, “Now we’re just trying to pick up the pieces and clean up the mess they left.”
The same night investigators believe someone also tried to break into the business next door. “Drove up with about three or four cop cars surrounding the office,” said Keri Powers, program director at Poteau Main Street Matters.
Powers says someone nearly kicked the door in at their business, but nothing was taken. “It just goes to show you that nobody is immune to these types of things and we are just thankful that nobody was hurt,” said Powers.
Poteau Main Street Matters already replaced their door. The historical society plans to update their security. “We’re in the process of putting new locks on all the doors, all the retail spaces, alarm system will be installed next week,” said Lowrey.
The historical society does not plan to house artifacts in the old hotel building until later this year.
If you can help investigators catch the suspects, call River Valley Crimestoppers at 78-CRIME or the Poteau Police Department at 918-647-8620.