Community rallies behind Petworth sweet shop robbed twice in two weeks

A local business owner in Northwest Washington's Petworth neighborhood says she is feeling thankful even though her store was robbed twice in two weeks.

FOX 5 spoke to Lulabelle's Sweet Shop owner Julie Wineinger on Wednesday and she told us the first time a suspect broke into her store through the window of her business' antique front door and stole the cash register.

Then, just this past Sunday, a suspect came back, but this time they used a crowbar to get inside, ultimately damaging the antique door. Wineinger says an iPad that was used to take orders was stolen during this break-in.

Wineinger says she was devastated after realizing she was robbed again in such a short amount of time.

Knowing that it would cost a good amount of money to repair the door, she says she decided to open up the store up this past Monday even though it's usually closed. What happened next was surprising.

Once the word got out that Lulabelle's was robbed again, a line formed outside and around the block and for the next five hours. That's when the store almost sold out of all its famous ice cream and several other sweets and treats, all in an effort to help out.

It was a gesture that was greatly appreciated.

"We were just scooping like crazy. I think our wrists and hands the next day were swollen, and it was amazing," said Wineinger. "It turned around something that was really like -- I just felt bad about and felt a little defeated -- and totally was uplifting in terms of just knowing that people wanted to come out and support me."

Wineinger says she loves her community. As for her store, she says she plans on installing surveillance cameras throughout the business from here on out.