Lufkin woman with cancer struggling after bounce houses stolen

Published: Sep. 13, 2012 at 3:32 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2012 at 1:15 PM CDT
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Tanya Oliver, Owner of Prink Shack
Tanya Oliver, Owner of Prink Shack

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin woman who makes her living by renting inflatable bounce houses for children has nothing to rent after burglars made off with all of her equipment.

The thieves stole thousands of dollars from her putting a strain on her business and health.

Tanya Oliver, owner of the Print Shack on N. Raguet Street in Lufkin said the burglars took more than just some bounce houses.

"Words can't describe. It's a hurt, and a depression, and anxiety because this is my livelihood, this is how I feed my family, and it's just a difficult time for us right now," explained Oliver as she pointed out how the burglars broke-in to her business.

Thursday, September 6, the suspects cut the business fence, used her 10 foot trailer to load eight inflatable bounce houses and hooked the trailer up to their truck and drove off.

The inflatables were out for overnight cleaning. Oliver believes there were about four suspects. Based on the colossal size of the inflatables, she adds it would have taken them at least two hours to commit the act.

All the equipment stolen was estimated to be worth more than $50,000. The business owner did not have insurance to cover the loss.

"I didn't have the money to buy the insurance for it {equipment}, now I realized I needed it. So insurance will be put in place right away."

To make matters worse, when the suspected thieves struck Oliver was fighting for her life; she was in undergoing cancer treatment at the MD Anderson Center in Houston.

Oliver stated, "I was already financially struggling due to the cancer and to have something like this happen to you, and it sets you back that far, you just feel hopeless."

But since the break-in, the Lufkin community has been trying to give her back that hope. A benefit account was set up to help with medical bills and her business.

"I appreciate all the public's help and all the donations that has helped us out. I appreciate all the business. Just please continue doing business with us until we recover," she said.

For now, Oliver is planning to take a few proactive steps to protect her business in the future.

She hopes to have security cameras, possibly a security guard or dogs. "There will be so much security here they won't ever want to come back in, I can tell you."

She tells the thieves that tried to deflate her business… "Don't come back, it won't be safe, not for him."

Oliver will likely postpone an additional cancer surgery because of the financial setback. A benefit account has been set up in her name, donations can be made at any Commercial Bank of East Texas.

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