A LOCHORE barber whose shop was ransacked said the kindness of locals have “made me smile again” after they raised more than £2,000 for him.

Ibrahim Ibo Gormez, who runs Hello Turkish Barbers on Lochleven Road, was left devastated after the premises were broken into.

Cash and equipment worth up to £4,000 was stolen in the raid but the following day an online fundraising page was set up with more than 100 people digging deep to help.

By Tuesday morning, it had raised more than £2,000.

Father-of-one Ibrahim, 40, told the Times: “I’m a very friendly, open-hearted person. I believe good things come to good people.

“The people here are the same, they are like family and it means a lot that so many are helping me.

“I didn’t expect them to raise this much but I’m really happy. It will help me get back on my feet. They’ve made me smile again.”

He added: “Money is nothing really. You can buy things but having respect, love and trust is much more important.”

Derek Davidson set up the fundraising page and told the Times: “I’d put a target of £1,000 on it and that was smashed in no time.

“I’ve had people coming to my door to hand in money, the local garage has been helping out, Councillor Lea McLelland put out a post to local hairdressers who have donated clippers and other equipment, it’s been brilliant.

"To raise that amount of money in just a few days is tremendous and just shows you what kind of community this is. They’ve really rallied round to help.”

Originally from Turkey and now living in Glenrothes, Ibrahim opened the shop in September 2020 but, due to lockdown, has only been trading since April last year.

The break-in happened between 9pm and 10pm on Monday January 10.

An eyewitness reportedly saw two men flee from the premises with equipment, such as expensive clippers, the CCTV box and other items like scissors, gels and waxes.

As soon as he found out about the raid, Ibrahim drove to the shop and discovered the thieves had broken in through the back door.

He said: “I’m just a small business and this means everything to me.

“This is my business and it’s a part of me. It feels like a part of my body has been stolen.”

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said they had received a report of a break-in and an arrest has been made.

Ibrahim said: “The police checked for fingerprints but couldn’t find any, so the thieves must have worn gloves.

“I hope it’s not one of my customers, I would be heartbroken if it was. I trust everyone.

“If I’m busy cutting hair I tell them just to go through and make tea or coffee, help themselves to a chocolate, mums and dads leave their kids here to get their hair cut as they’re happy with me.

“I treat everyone like family and I’ve been treated like family too.”

On the fundraising page Derek wrote: “Ibrahim Ibo Gormez is our local Turkish barber.

“He is a gentleman of a guy that has moved into our community to build a future. He has made many friends in our village.

“Ibrahim joined in with us for our New Year Loony Dook so that we could raise funds for Fairy Wood.

“Last night someone broke into his shop and stole all his tools and equipment which insurance will NOT cover.

“Let’s help get this guy back up and running and show him that as a community we will not be defeated by scum.”