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Stolen sketchbook returned to Christian 'honesty cafe'
A sketchbook containing dozens of personal drawings stolen during a robbery at a Christian-run "honesty cafe" has been returned after a staff appeal.
On Tuesday, the non-profit Dock Cafe in Belfast city's Titanic Quarter had its safe raided. Staff revealed a sketchbook full of priceless drawings which the cafe had been looking after for a tourist that had accidentally left it behind, had also been stolen.
Chaplain Chris Bennett, who helps co-ordinate the cafe, said: "We said that if they just returned it, we'd keep it anonymous, so I'll not go into the details of exactly how it was returned.
"I was optimistic that this might happen and yet I knew I was placing the ethos of the cafe on the line.
"We trust people, we believe in their honesty, that's the daily reality of the place and yet I know that I was taking a very big chance in hoping the notebook would be returned.
The cafe doesn't charge customers for food or drink, and instead asks for honest donations of whatever people can afford.
Following the business's plea, the sketchbook was returned on Wednesday.
Mr Bennett revealed that since the incident, donations made to the cafe by members of the public have enabled them to recover the money also stolen during the robbery.
He added: "People have been walking in with envelopes of donations and just handed them to us saying 'we heard about what happened and we wanted to give you this'.
"It inspires me so much, that we are right to trust people. Honesty works as it says on our cafe wall."
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