Coffee shop built on helping community targeted by thieves

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

A Sunnyslope coffee shop that prides itself on building up the community has become the target of thieves.

Early Tuesday morning, someone broke through the back door of the Lifeboat Coffee Co. near 7th Street and Dunlap, stealing artwork.

“I’m just blown away,” said John Lillis, owner.

The thief caused hundreds of dollars in damages and took a Michelangelo lithograph. The owner estimates it was worth hundreds of dollars as well.

“I’m disappointed. If someone really needed it, and they needed money for gas or their family god bless them that’s fine I’m not attached to the object I’m just blown away they would take instead of asking for something,” said Lillis.

Customers say the theft is especially shocking because Lifeboat Coffee never turns anyone away regardless of their ability to pay for coffee.

The shop also donates 10 percent of every sale to charity.

“There aren’t too many companies that will give away part of their profits to help others,” said Jim Crook, a customer.

“We started the company to give money back to life-saving organizations, crisis prevention centers, disabled veterans, the elderly, people that really need it,” said Lillis.

According to the owner, the response since the break-in has been overwhelming. Some have offered to replace the artwork, others like Richard Lopez volunteered his services to fix the broken door.

“He has a vision of giving back to the community. I’m trying to help John out here trying to keep a nice little thing like this in the neighborhood,” said Lopez.

The owner says he didn’t report what happened to police, his focus is on moving forward.

“Everything around you see is a gift to me lots of people helped build this place.  I’d be foolish to be attached to this stuff and let it ruin the environment,” said Lillis.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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