Ray's West broken into, vandalized

Ray's West broken into, vandalized
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Despite not being open since 2013, the old Ray's West means a lot to owner Lawana Ray.

The building is filled with memories and memorabilia that bring smiles to Ray's face. That alone, made it hard for her to sweep up the broken glass left behind by vandals.

"I would not wish this job on anybody," Ray said. "This is a job I have to do."

On Monday, Ray came to the closed-down restaurant to sweep up the floors and look at some equipment that she was thinking about putting to use at the original location on Timberland. What she saw when she walked in broke her heart.

"It was chaos," Ray said. "Everything that was breakable in this building has been taken and slammed to the floor."

Several picture frames were broken, and glass was scattered across the area that was once filled with customers enjoying the famous Ray's hamburger.

"They took the Christmas ornaments we would decorate with, and it looks like they stood at the back wall and just threw them and broke them," Ray said. "it is just really sad. They also broke several light bulbs from the back."

The location has been closed since 2013 when the building had a fire. Ray has been trying to sell the property and left the items there for storage.
Some of the items were even once part of the original Ray's that dates back to 1959. She was at the location 10 days earlier and everything was intact. One thing that alarmed her was that a broom handle appeared to have been burned in an attempt to set a fire. What hurts more for Ray is that nothing was stolen; only memories were broken.

"It would have almost been better if they stole the stuff," Ray said. "It would have almost at least justified them being here. That sounds bad in a way, but just having it messed up seems worse. I know it wasn't a homeless person because there was a really nice sleeping bag, brand new, and it was not touched. it was just left in the box."

As she starts to clean up, Ray is trying to understand why someone would do this.

"This is somewhere between 12 and 15 year old that need some kind of discipline," Ray said.

Ray is hoping that someone saw something and will call the Lufkin Police.

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