JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Thanks to our story Thursday, the owner of Star Computing has promised to return his customers' equipment after one filed a police report earlier this week.
Beau Douglas spoke to Region 8 News briefly over the phone Friday.
He did not offer much detail, only saying his customers should get their equipment back shortly.
Douglas did not explain why Star Computing closed down recently without any notice and left at least two people wondering where their equipment had gone.
"You see them not just as a business acquaintance but as a friend," Leslie Fernatt said, "and then they proceed to steal from you. It's really disheartening."
Fernatt, a Jonesboro resident, came to trust the quality of service that she received from the Star Computing store, located on Woodsprings Road. She, however, was unsure if she would ever get back a computer tower that she dropped off three months ago for repairs.
"It's just awful because from what I knew of him, Beau Douglas was just the nicest guy," she said.
Fernatt intended to have the tower wiped clean so that she could give it to a family in need from her church. The family, a mother and son, had fled to Jonesboro from Hurricane Katrina seven years ago.
"And now (my plan) is all ruined," Fernatt said, "because of a guy that is doing something that I have no idea why."
Fernatt was not the only one searching for answers.
Carolyn Caldwell, a Lake City resident, filed a police report Wednesday, claiming she never got her computer back either.
Both customers said they had lost all contact with the owner, so Region 8 News tried to track him down starting at the store.
Its doors remain locked, and the inside appears basically bare. The only phone number for Douglas has also been disconnected, and there was no answer at his last known address.
The search came up empty for Fernatt too, who still holds out hope that she can help the boy left with nothing after Katrina.
"He's still waiting," she said, "hoping that he'll be able to get something that he can finish out the school year with."
The Jonesboro City Attorney's Office suggests that anyone affected by Star Computing's closure should consider suing in small claims court, though Caldwell and Fernatt have been extended a helping hand.
Upon seeing our story, Critical Edge Tech, a local technology company, has promised to replace the equipment that the women lost at no charge.
Michael Allsup, the Memphis-based company's president and owner, says it's important to reassure the community that not all businesses are like Star Computing.
"Absolutely," Allsup said, "that's one of the reasons we saw it, and we wanted to let everybody know that not all computer companies are like that. I know a lot of IT guys get a bad rap, but there's actually some good ones out there."
Critical Edge Tech also asks anyone else affected by the company's closure to call them for assistance at 870-336-0707.
Both Caldwell and Fernatt confirmed Friday afternoon that they finally got into contact with Douglas, and he has now returned their equipment.