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Residents rally to support Middle Eastern bakery targeted by vandals

Posted at 8:27 PM, Dec 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-05 21:11:39-05

A local bakery that was vandalized has a happy ending.

The Middle Eastern Bakery in Phoenix near 16th Street and Thomas had its windows broken in what some are saying is more than just a property crime. But on Monday, the company hired to replace the broken windows, have graciously donated them instead. 

"Isam is such a sweetheart, and everybody absolutely loves him,” said Jody Clute, a long-time patron of the bakery. That sentiment was echoed by several notes of encouragement left for the business' owner.

Clute says she isn't the only patron upset that a place that feels like home could be vandalized.

Saturday, the owners and customers discovered the front window had been smashed in. The front window has a large starburst crack, but the glass did not break.

"I think when you hear about something like this happening, it's shocking, and it should be,” said Marnee Burrus, a patron.

Over the phone, owner Isam Saed, told ABC15 that a similar incident also happened last year. He doesn't know why, but customers are concerned.

"With the current political atmosphere, we can only be paranoid and make assumptions, but we don't really know for sure,” Clute said.

Those who frequent the store have taken action in support of the local business. On Sunday, one neighbor was being helpful by pulling weeds in front of the bakery. Others are organizing support online.

"We all just decided to not sit back anymore and draw attention to these types of crimes,” Clute said.

The windows may need to be replaced, but the community isn’t letting this act break the owner's spirits.

Community members have set up an donation page. They say they want to pay for the damage and get the bakery a security system.

When reached Sunday afternoon, a Phoenix Police Department spokesperson said he could not immediately locate an incident report or call for service to the bakery.