Lincoln County Store Owners Say Hate Is Behind Crimes

The Hatata’s met in Egypt and were married; then they bought Crossroads Oasis Marathon in Hustonville, the only gas station food mart for miles.

In past several weeks, the Hatata’s say vandals have been breaking in and stealing merchandise.

Lydia Rhonda Bryant Hatata suspects a hate crime is the motive behind numerous thefts, burglaries and damage. And those she once trusted, she now suspects.

“Employees letting relatives bag up items and walk out the door,” says Lydia Bryant Hatata.

Police haven't made any arrests, but they don't suspect a hate crime. They think many of these instances have been caused by simply disgruntled employees.

However, Lydia Hatata thinks it's hate based purely on what a former worker said while walking out the door. “The first employee that chose to leave called my husband a blank, blank, blanking Muslim and she walked out,” she says.

Police say they've recommended extra security measures and the Hatata’s say when they reopen, they'll have improved lighting and cameras.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Jethro Location: rat cheer on Dec 22, 2007 at 11:42 AM
    Wow in Richmond, You are absolutely correct. Hate crimes should not exist. In a perfect world they wouldn't, but this is not a perfect world, and some crimes are committed against people based in whole or in part on a dislike of the victim due to race or creed. These crimes include church bombings, lynchings, cross burnings, etc. The more extreme types are not seen often, but the more subtle types are all too prevalent, yet not always recognized as such. If the school bully takes a smaller child's lunch money simply because he's mean, then he has committed a theft. If the school bully takes lunch money only from the kids of a certain ethnic group(s) because he harbors prejudice(s) against those group(s) members, then he has committed both a theft and a hate crime. In essence, if this store was burgled and vandalized because the perps were mean, no hate crime, if done because of the Hatata's creed, HATE CRIME. We won't know for sure until we ask the perps.
  • by Wow Location: Richmond on Dec 21, 2007 at 07:23 PM
    @ Jethro Location: rat cheer You miss the point? How is it anymore a crime if some one calls you any name then robs you, than if they simply robbed you because they didnt like you? Hate crimes shouldnt be existant. A crime is a crime. Those that think others hate them cause of their race or religion are actively practicing reverse racism.
  • by Jethro Location: rat cheer on Dec 21, 2007 at 07:53 AM
    JOhn logic, Outhouse philosopher? Ain't you got no respect for nobody's feelin's? Others, yes they had a problem with employee theft, but they have suffered far more than that, having been burglarized and vandalized to the tune of thousands of dollars. These things didn't happen prior to them buying this store, at least not to this degree, and the Hatatas feel that there may be a racial/ethnic motive behind it. The Hatatas are simply trying to run a successful business where employee theft won't be tolerated. It is quiet possible that disgruntled employees are behind this and Mr. Hatatas ethnicity was not a factor. But judging from the utterance made by at least one of them, and the severity of the losses incurred, the possibility of this being a hate crime should at least be investigated, should it not?
  • by anita Location: *** on Dec 20, 2007 at 08:42 AM
    Hey JOhn Logic....How about your typing skills? Way to point out other's downfalls. LOL clean your own doorstep before pointing out how dirty others are.This is about the poor owners of the establishment not your chance to strut your "knowledge".Tip of the day, Have a heart towards the victims!!!
  • by A working American Location: ky on Dec 20, 2007 at 07:12 AM
    I am sorry for the owners. They are working people and should not have to endure these actions. Racial or not it is wrong!!! Deadbeats that steal and destroy others property should have consequences like in other countries. Then others that think about doing these things would maybe think twice.
  • by JOhn Logic Location: Grammar School on Dec 20, 2007 at 05:52 AM
    I think the real crime here is the overall butchering of the english language and grammatical structure by the respondents. Tip of the day: The past tense of was is were. People don't has done an action, they have done an action.
  • by Wow Location: Richmond on Dec 19, 2007 at 10:05 PM
    Seems to me that its the employees that are stealing. They are probally paid min wage and think teh cameras wont catch them lettign family walk out with merchandise. Its actually very common in small towns epsecially the small stuff sodas and such for boyrfriends of the cashiers. Its definatly not a hate crime just a thing business people must deal with. If 1 employee called them a racist name it doesnt mean everyone that does somethign wrong "hates" them. After all the term itself is ridiculous. If they were Irish decent, baptists and had the same problem would it be any less of an offense? My advice is install more cameras and secure the feed in a room with no access or to online sources.
  • by Kathy Location: Casey County on Dec 19, 2007 at 04:22 PM
    I am so sorry this has happened to the Hatata's. I live down the road from the store. I hope they catch the people that has done this. This is just a shame...
  • by SGT Howard Location: Ky on Dec 19, 2007 at 03:56 PM
    why does it have to be a hate crime, do theives steal just for the heck of it or just for the fact of wanting what they are taking? everyone is so quick to pull the race card out. maybe you was robbed because you had something they wanted and even if you was purple they still would have stole from you.

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