Community rallies around couple with newborn after their store was burgled

Auckland cafe owners with a newborn have been left reeling after their store was burgled in the middle of the night. 

But the Mount Albert community they live in are rallying around them.

Customers at Rocky and Jeevani Warnakulasuriya's store Rocky's Restaurant came bearing gifts on Wednesday including donations and a homemade baby blanket. 

"We are here today because of our community. I don't know how to say thank you to them. I don't have the words," Jeenavi says.

Jeevani gave birth just 12 days ago and she's already been back at work for a week. 

COVID-19 lockdowns put their business under pressure and they can't afford to hire staff to cover her.

On Monday morning she arrived early to start the day's baking only to find the store stripped bare.

"The door is broken. The till is down. No laptop and everything is gone."

A security camera at the neighbouring store caught some suspicious behaviour outside Rocky's the previous night. The couple couldn't afford insurance and are devastated.

"It's hard to see someone damaging our things," says Rocky.

"We came to New Zealand because it's a peaceful country," adds Jeevani. "It wasn't like this before and now it's getting worse." 

Renee Argyros was the first customer through the door on Monday and after seeing the Warnakulasuriyas in strife, she started a Givealittle page. 

It has already surpassed the $20,000 goal to replace the stolen goods and cover insurance costs for a year. 

"It's a reflection on Rocky and Jeevani because people are supporting very good people," Argyros says 

Rocky and Jeevani say their community's help has outweighed the burglar's actions.

"They make us even more stronger now."