Thieves steal $30,000 from Cleveland clothing store - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Thieves steal $30,000 from Cleveland clothing store

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -

More than $30,000 worth of clothing was stolen from a Cleveland clothing store. It's a big hit for the small, family-owned business

Hardwick & Company Clothing Store on Oak Street is trying to get back on its feet.

"It's not something that can't be overcome, but it makes it difficult to survive," said owner Joe Williams.

He said the thieves wiped out an entire season worth of inventory; taking $500 suits, shirts, dress pants, and every single pair of jeans in the store.

The suspects tore down displays, but couldn't figure out how to open the cash register.

They did take several leather shoes priced at $200, but forgot to grab most of their mates.

"Now they're walking around with unmatched shoes, probably," Williams said.

But the strangest part of the break-in was how the thieves got inside in the first place.

The suspects somehow opened a basement door on the other side of the building, crawled through the ceiling, then tore through another wall in the back of the store.

The thieves targeted their selection to high-end European brands -- ones that aren't found in most department stores.

"They're distinctive products," said Williams. "They're not normally seen in the Chattanooga marketplace."

Williams hopes someone might recognize the rare labels if they see someone wearing them, and call police, so this won't happen to other stores in town.

Anyone with information should call Cleveland Police Det. Daniel Leamon at (423) 303-3120. You can also send a confidential tip to the Cleveland TN Police Dept. Facebook page.

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