Belfast Telegraph

Community rallies after family ice cream business The Rinkha hit by burglars

By Victoria Leonard

A popular family-run ice cream parlour and general store in Islandmagee was forced to close for a time yesterday following an overnight burglary.

The Rinkha, a firm favourite with ice cream lovers, was targeted by thieves who broke in and stole cash and cigarettes at around 1am yesterday.

News of the crime was greeted with outrage by the local community on social media.

UUP MLA John Stewart said: "Absolutely disgusted to hear this. I really hope the scum responsible are caught and prosecuted."

Linda McGibbon added: "I'm so sorry to hear that you've been burgled. There are so many good people from far and wide who support you, so take heart."

Mark Montgomery commented: "Sorry to hear about this. Hope all is back to normal soon & I will make a point of coming up on Sunday to show my support."

The popular stop-off point for visitors to The Gobbins and Brown's Bay closed yesterday morning but reopened in the afternoon.

Thanking the local community for their support, the Hawkins family, who own the establishment, said: "We are open again as normal following the burglary on our premises during the early hours this morning.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers, friends and colleagues for all the supportive comments, texts and phone calls.

"We greatly appreciate everything."

The PSNI appealed for witnesses to the burglary at the Middle Road premises to come forward.

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