Mount Airy community steps up to help Malelani Cafe after repeated burglaries

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — The Malelani Cafe, known for helping the Philadelphia community, has been burgled for the second time in a few weeks.

Surveillance video from a nearby store on Germantown Avenue captured a person using a rock to smash the glass on another storefront. The area has been part of a string of burglaries since August.

Each time the glass was shattered at the Malelani Cafe and money was missing from the register.

“This is the first time I’ve had anything like this. I have a lot of windows. I’ve been very lucky up to this point,” said George Drakopoulos, owner of the Malelani Cafe. “Obviously it’s not an inside job, there’s not much to be gained here so it’s unfortunate it happened again.”

For the second time, Drakopoulos filed a complaint with the Philadelphia Police Department.

Neighbors and other community members wanted to get together to help one of their own.

“He doesn’t advertise all the good things he does for our community. He’s so pleased to see people with open arms letting him know how much they love him,” said Jessica Rights of Mount Airy.

Rights, who lives nearby, started a fundraiser to replace the broken glass door and lost money. Within a day they surpassed the $2,500 goal.

Other companies in the area also ensure that they take care of each other even more and take care of each other.

“Companies are also very involved in making sure their fellow entrepreneurs are doing well,” said Danielle Jawdy, owner of Zsa’s Ice Cream. “I would say there are half a dozen of us here in this corridor, all in a small text circle. We all know if something happens, any time of the day or night, we can text each other.”

Drakopoulos says he is grateful for the community. He donated the extra money raised to the local non-profit Face-to-Face.

The owner says he will be upgrading the camera system and other security measures with help from the Philadelphia Department of Commerce.

More information on Department of Commerce programs can be found here:

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