DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Thieves hit a Delray Beach café at a time when many people are still struggling.
The owners said almost $5,000, including tips for staff, was stolen Tuesday.
Now, the community has almost raised all that money back in one day.
The affected business, Over the Bridge Café, is a locally owned favorite located along Atlantic Avenue. They have been open for three years in December.
Owners Dan and Samantha Newman have been able to keep their doors open through the coronavirus pandemic.
Tuesday morning, Dan was on the way to the bank and needed to drop something off at the cafe. While he was inside for about 10 minutes, he said thieves struck.
"I came back to my car that was broken into," Dan Newman said.
The deposit bags he had hidden under the seat were missing. About $5,000 was inside the bag -- $2,200 of that was his employees' tips.
"My heart broke and sank," he said.
Dan said his thoughts went directly to his staff, who need that money.
"My staff are the most incredible people in the world and would do anything for us," said Dan said.
After a post on Facebook, the support started pouring in.
"Within minutes, people were donating," he said.
Through a Venmo account, the cafe raised $1,600 overnight, creating heavy emotions for the Newmans.
"It is her turn to cry. I was crying before this," Dan said.
"They don't know us personally and our place. It has been incredible," Samantha Newman said.
The couple said they are only raising the $2,200 to pay their staff the stolen tips.
But what about the people responsible for the theft?
"Forget about them, forget it. It is not worth it. Our time is not worth it. We have bigger fish to fry, and we have a community to back us up," he said.
Surveillance cameras did not capture the crime, but police are investigating the theft.