Customers rally around boutique following robbery

FRESNO, Calif.

The crime happened last Friday at the Twee Boutique on Wishon and Hedges in Fresno's Tower District.

The lone register inside the twee boutique was constantly ringing up customers Friday.

"The support of the community is crazy," said Annemarie Bell, a store employee. "We never imagined this many people would show up."

Many of the shoppers were not there for last minute holiday presents, rather they were there to show support for this eclectic locally-owned shop.

Store owner, Melanie Davis, was robbed at gunpoint last Friday. She was with a friend in the back of the store, when a masked man walked in. "When I started walking toward the front door, the man was already at the register and he had a gun out in his hand and just told us to give him all of our money," Davis said.

The crook only took about $300 from the register. He also stole Davis' sense of security. And one week later, her sense of community is stronger than ever thanks to supportive shoppers.

"I just think it's amazing, I mean... Obviously so thankful and it just makes me fall in love with Fresno even more," Davis said.

Brad Bowling took his first trip to twee Friday afternoon. "I had been meaning to come down to Twee for a long time," Bowling said. "And I thought this would be the perfect time to do it, just show a little community support for somebody who has gone through something so horrible."

Amy Sousa lives in the Tower District and she's thankful to see other people shopping at Twee. The boutique sells hand-made crafts from about 30 different local artists as well as store made items. Sousa said that's part of what makes the two-year-old boutique a staple there.

"They do so much more for the community, they're constantly organizing things, and they promote other businesses in the area. It just really helps everyone. When we heard this happened we just wanted to go make sure everybody is okay," Sousa said.

Davis said her customers are reminders of why her heart is in Fresno. "This is what makes it so awesome, because it's still a small enough town that people can make a difference," Davis said.

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