Community rallies to support Chesapeake coffee house after burglary

battlegrounds july 2022.jpg
Posted at 1:45 PM, Jul 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 04:18:56-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - It's known for its 'Be A Good Person' message on the side of its building, but the owner of Battlegrounds Coffeehouse and Grill tells News 3 someone did the opposite one night last week.

“It’s sad that someone walked right past our, you know, big sign to try and spread positivity and happiness and then they do something like that," Kathleen McReynolds said of the break-in.

According to McReynolds, around $500 was taken from the cash register. Add in the hundreds in subsequent repairs and security upgrades to the business and Battlefield Boulevard...and she says she's out about $1,000.

“It’s hard, especially now with how everything is and how expensive everything is," McReynolds said. "My staff is awesome and they work really, really hard for every penny that we make.”

It wasn't until a few days after the break-in that the word got out on social media. Someone posted about it on a Facebook page for Hampton Roads restaurants — and then the community rallied to support Battlegrounds.

"It's crazy. We've been super busy, which has been awesome," McReynolds said.

The post is what Gabe Gulley says brought him over from Virginia Beach.

"[I feel] frustrated, because all they’re trying to do is support their family and then you got people out here trying to vandalize their hard-earned work," Gulley said.

And he told News 3's Anthony Sabella that now that he and his friends are here, this first visit won't be his last.

With countless new faces coming through Battlegrounds' doors, there's only one rule to follow — the one that's been on the wall since the beginning.

“’Be a good person.’ That whole thing is kind of like our mindset," said McReynolds.

News 3 has learned there was a surveillance camera at the business, which the owner says helped Chesapeake Police officers track down two teenaged suspects.

Police confirmed with News 3 that two juvenile suspects were charged with multiple offenses in relation to the burglary.