Maybe your tip will catch the man who stole theirs - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Maybe your tip will catch the man who stole theirs

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — A Poway smoothie shop is hoping surveillance photos will help nab a brazen thief. 

The man was caught on camera stealing the tip jar from the counter at GreensPlease. 

The photos show clear images of a man dressed in polka dot pajama pants and a hat on the phone Tuesday morning inside the shop.  

Ben Toth, the owner of the organic food spot, says he initially didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. 

"He pretended he was on the phone with his girlfriend and every time we asked him what he wanted to order he would say he was on the phone with his girlfriend," he said.  

Toth even offered the man a soup sample, which he drank, and then continued pacing. 

"He waited for everyone to stop paying attention to him for just a moment and he grabbed the tip jar and took off," said Toth. "About 10 minutes later, a woman asked where our tip jar was because she wanted to put a tip in it. My employee was like 'where is it?'" 

When he pulled up the surveillance video he was stunned.  

"It was infuriating," said Toth. "I asked a lot of my employees. They work really hard for these tips. It was like a kick in the face to them and to me."  

The owner is glad he invested in high-tech cameras and that everything they capture he can pull up directly on his phone."  

"I wanted good clear footage if anything bad happened," said Toth.  

He posted the man's picture on Facebook and it's been shared hundreds of times. 

"The response to this online has been astounding," Toth said. "I can't believe how much support we're getting. 

"It really shows how much our regulars care. They're really angry about this. They try to reward our employees for their hard work." 

The thief didn't get away with a whole lot of money - only $10 or so. 

"He came early in the morning - there was almost nothing in that tip jar," said Toth. "Not a lot of brain power on his part."  

But what else he stole from them Toth says is far more valuable. 

"It's a loss of trust," he said. "I want to think the best of people all the time."  

As for the tip jar, Toth says they'll secure it down in the future so that hopefully this won't happen again.  

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