By Debby Schamber

For the Record

A local attorney was kidnapped Monday morning and forced to withdraw money from a bank in Port Arthur before he was released. 

Jim Sharon Bearden, 43, was at his home on Dalton Drive in the Dishon Plantation addition located just outside the Bridge City limits when around 10 a.m. two suspects wearing ski masks entered his residence. Bearden was bound with cords. The suspects demanded money. The residence was ransacked and a few items were taken. 

Bearden was transported by his Chevrolet Suburban to a bank in Port Arthur where he withdrew an undisclosed sum of cash. A short time later he was released. 

Bearden did not receive any injuries, but according to his father, Sharon Bearden, “he is an emotional wreck.” 

In addition, Sharon Bearden commented his son’s house had some recent work done to it and in the neighborhood there is a lot of new construction being done.  He thinks the suspects may have knowledge of the area because of this. 

Orange County Sheriff’s Office Captain Cliff Hargrave said the investigation is being handled by the OCSO and the Port Arthur Police Department and they are still following active leads. 

Video surveillance obtained by investigators shows a suspicious vehicle in the area. They believe the vehicle, a maroon or burgundy colored SUV, such as a Chevrolet S10 Blazer may be involved.  

According to investigators with the Port Arthur police department, this type of crime is rare and the manner in which it was done was unusual. 

Jim Sharon Bearden joined his father’s law firm in 2007 after his father had become “worn down” and “burned out.”  

“He rejuvenated me,” Bearden said of his son joining the law practice during a previous interview. “He brought the fun back. It’s been enjoyable.” 

Bearden refers to himself and his son as “street lawyers” with Jim Sharon taking on personal injury cases. The pair also does probate, criminal and other various types of cases. Their office is located across the street from the courthouse on Border Street. When the Beardens are in the courthouse, there is no mistaking the sound of their cowboy boots on the tile floors. 

The case remains under investigation. No arrests have been made as of press time. 

Anyone with any information is asked to call the OCSO at 409-883-2612 or Crimestoppers at 833-TIPS.