Two individuals broke into the renowned Maple View Ice Cream shop at around 2 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 7.
Security cameras at the store caught footage of one of the suspects, who did not appear to steal anything. However, the suspect did damage the cameras, and the break-in left employees rattled the next day.
Allison Nichols, a manager at Maple View and an employee of nearly 20 years, said the incident has left her feeling violated.
Jan. 7 marks the third time in the past three years that the store has been burglarized, and the store plans to respond accordingly.
"We always try to keep up to date with making sure our camera systems are accurate, adding additional things when needed," Nichols said. "We always have our alarm system and we have safety measures in place.”
Rather than convey their discomfort with the matter, Nichols took to Maple View Farm's Facebook page with humor as a means of getting customers' attention about the situation.
"Although we love visitors at Maple View Farm Ice Cream, we prefer they come during business hours and not during the middle of the night," she said in a post.
Although the Facebook post refers to two burglars at the scene of the crime, investigator Zach Baldwin and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department are still working to identify the one suspect caught on camera.
As it is an ongoing investigation, details are still limited to the public.
“We are asking for help ID'ing the suspect. As far as what occurred, it looks like there was a break-in," Baldwin said. "We haven’t located anything missing, but we have collected some evidence, but we don’t believe there’s anything missing."
Anybody who has seen the suspect should contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at (919)-245-2900. Photo courtesy of Orange County Sheriff's Office.
Following the incident, Maple View has seen a wave of support in response to the burglary, particularly on their Facebook post. The post has been shared more than 2,400 times, and many have taken to the comment section to show their support for the business.
Customers on social media were supportive about the matter.
“Nobody breaks into my favorite ice cream shop! Hope he is found!” commented one Facebook user.
Nichols did take a moment to reflect on the support Maple View has received.
“Our customers are phenomenal, they take a lot of pride in the ice cream store and I think they feel a sense of ownership too," she said. "They don’t want to see that happen in their community or to one of their favorite establishments.”
She also mentioned they had received emails and calls supporting them, and even one of the milk company’s customers from Wake Forest called asking what they could do to help.
Maple View hopes to quickly bounce back from this setback and continue making delicious ice cream for paying customers during store hours.
“We’re looking forward to the new year, we’re looking forward to ice cream season, warm temperatures — and especially all of our customers that come from UNC to visit us and enjoy Carolina Crunch,” Nichols said.