Police have released surveillance photos showing two people suspected of breaking into the Raleigh Raw juice bar Sunday morning.
Thieves took more than $5,000 worth of electronics, cash and merchandise from the Hargett Street business. The break-in happened between 3:54 and 5:14 a.m., according to a police report.
Officials believe the suspects are white men of unknown ages, and one is known as “Drew,” Raleigh police said in a news release Tuesday.
Raleigh Raw owner Sherif Fouad said he thought his business was targeted following a social media firestorm that stemmed from an Instagram post that some people thought was insensitive.
On Friday, the store’s social media account posted about people from a local group that came in to buy drinks for other customers and to pass out flowers. The post suggested that other people “don’t protest against what you hate ... instead promote what you love.”
After Sunday’s break-in, Fouad took to Facebook and pointed out that local writers Tina and Grayson Haver Currin, who are both active on social media, had been critical of the initial Instagram post.
Fouad said he met with the Haver Currins on Monday night to discuss their differences, and they agreed to be more careful with their social media posts in the future.
On Tuesday, Fouad reiterated that he did not believe the Haver Currins were responsible for the burglary, but he believes the social media fight could have inspired others to break into the store.
“There’s a whole lot of people that jumped on the troll bandwagon,” Fouad said. “His reach is bigger than he thinks.”
Fouad, whose insurance didn’t cover the stolen items, said he hopes police find the people responsible.
“I’m not really optimistic that I will see my stuff,” he said. “But I am hopeful that they catch them so another business doesn’t get affected.”
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call Raleigh CrimeStoppers at 919-834-4357 or go to raleighcrimestoppers.org.
Chris Cioffi: 919-829-4802, @ReporterCioffi