Cafe owner: Break-in was retaliation for online post

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The owner thinks it's retaliation for a social media post he made.

The owner of Raleigh Raw juice bar and cafe says his business was robbed during the weekend after a post on social media sparked criticism online.

Thieves forced open the cafe doors early Sunday morning and stole more than $5,000 in electronics, cash and merchandise, including three iPads, a Mac laptop and $553 in cash.

Police released surveillance photos of two suspects, both white men.

Monday, customers stopped by to show their support.

Monday, customers stopped by to show their support.

"I heard about the break-in and decided that to replace stuff you have to have revenue, so the best way to support a local business is to spend your money there," Shonna Greenwell said.

Sherif Fouad said his business was targeted in response to a post he made on Raleigh Raw's Instagram account last week showing a group of Good Samaritans who stopped in to buy drinks for his customers.

"I thought that was really cool in light of just a rocky week in North Carolina, so I snapped some pictures and I threw up a post," he said.

Fouad wrote, "Don't protest against what you hate, you're only giving that cause more energy. Instead promote what you love. Today we saw that idea in action."

Text of the Instagram post from Raleigh Raw Juice.

Critics began slamming Fouad on social media for attacking protests in Charlotte over the police killing of 43-year-old Keith Scott.

"A lot of people started objecting to it trying to say it was insensitive," said Fouad. "They wanted to make sure they were retaliating and positioning me as someone who did not support the black movement against police brutality."

Fouad said he does not think his critics on social media were directly responsible for Sunday's heist, but he believes they influenced the break-in.

"I don't want my social media platform to be reduced to pictures of teas and coffee and food. I want to talk about real issues, and if I misstep on a real issue, I would love to welcome someone to challenge me on it so we can have a healthy conversation about it, and that's exactly what happens in our shop."

So far, no arrests have been made.

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