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Thieves target popular coffee shop, Coffee Makes You Black

Posted at 11:31 AM, Nov 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-28 18:25:21-05

It's business as usual just a few hours after Coffee Makes You Black was burglarized around 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

The restaurants' surveillance video catches the thief shattering both glass doors and then stealing the cash register.

Owners Bradley and Laurie Thurman say they're not increasing security or barring up the windows because of this.

They say changing the shop into a stronghold won't send their open message of support and love to the community. 

Employee James Brown has been working at Coffee Makes You Black for three months. He says the Thurmans are going to continue being a safe space for the community. 

"They can't stop the thriving, loving embrace that's what they get when they come in here," said Brown. "You can't do that, unfortunately you can't blame anyone, but it did happen."

Unfortunately, this isn't the first break-in, back in 2006 their TVs were stolen off the walls. Now work from local artists and pictures showing off historical figures line the walls.  

Longtime customers like Tshaka White, agree with the Thurmans that changing everything isn't necessary because of these two awful incidents.   

"One bad apple, you know, could spoil the bunch. But, a place like this, you know, we'll be okay past this," said White. 

Another longtime customer, Jenee Jackson was raised to always support black businesses. She says this is an unfortunate part of operating a business, but the community can't allow this to keep happening. 

"Sometimes it's like, I know we're a broken people. But, sometimes, it's like come on now, we got to do better," said Jackson. 

Jackson brought in her friend, Nina Rossmedina, to enjoy her favorite restaurant. This is Rossmedina's first time, and she's in awe of how beautiful the artwork is.

"I would have to say I wouldn't have even been able to notice that something like that happened, because of everybody coming together," said Rossmedina. 
 
Milwaukee Police Officers say the burglary is currently under investigation. As of mid-day Wednesday, Coffee Makes You Black has brand new doors, and the Thurmans say they'll continue to be a local community staple.