Raleigh Raw robbed following social media criticism
Posted September 26
Updated September 27
Raleigh, N.C. — A downtown Raleigh juice bar and cafe was robbed early Sunday, days after a post by the business sparked criticism on social media.
More than $5,000 in electronics, cash and merchandise was stolen from Raleigh Raw, 7 W. Hargett St., early Sunday, according to a police report.
The items stolen included three iPads, one MAC laptop, $500 in cash and Raleigh Raw clothing.
On Tuesday, Raleigh Police released surveillance images from the robbery. Authorities say that at least two white males participated in the robbery and one of them is known by the name "Drew."
Anyone with information is asked to call Raleigh CrimeStoppers at 919-834-HELP. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for anonymous tips that help solve cases.
Raleigh Raw owner Sherif Fouad said via Facebook that he believes his business was targeted in response to a post he made last week on the Raleigh Raw Instagram page about a group of five people from Chiltern Clinical research, who went into the shop to buy everyone a drink.
"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," Fouad wrote.
The post drew criticism from some who took Fouad's post as an attack on recent protests in Charlotte over the officer-involved shooting death of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott.
The social media firestorm led Fouad to delete his original post.
"It was insensitive of me at the time," Fouad said, adding that he didn't realize that the post would be interpreted as an attack on the "Black Lives Matter" movement or recent protests.
Fouad said he understands protests are needed at times, especially given that his family is from Egypt and is free due to recent protests.
The next day, Fouad posted a clarification on Instagram.
On Sunday, Fouad posted on his personal Facebook page about the robbery, noting that a sign with the words "Black Lives Matter" was left at the scene. He said that he knows those who were the most vocal about his post weren't directly responsible, but blames their influence for his shop being targeted.
The robbery could have been worse, Fouad said. Being a raw food restaurant, any damage to the food would have cost the shop thousands of dollars.
No arrests have been made.