National News

Police Hunt For Tip Jar Thief - Who Escapes In A Mercedes

Posted June 22, 2018 4:00 p.m. EDT

— Officials are on the hunt for a serial tip jar thief who has struck several stores in the Santa Clarita Valley.

What's especially infuriating about the thief - he flees the scene in a Mercedes.

KCAL-TV's Peter Daut reported from a Juice It Up in Newhall, one of the thief's most recent hits.

The swindle has left a sour taste in the employees' mouths.

"It's ridiculous," says employee Matthew Flores.

He said the suspect came into the store on June 11th and pretended he wanted to order a smoothie while talking on a cellphone.

Security video shows the man waited until the worker turned her back and then he quickly grabbed the tip jar and took off.

"I think it's real petty," Flores said, "you don't want to work for your money and you'd rather just steal tips that we get?"

Officials said the thief struck again the very next day!

This time at the Bodhi Leaf Coffee Traders in nearby Canyon Country.

Wearing the exact same hat and glasses, the suspect again waited for the worker to step away before swiping the tip jar it and rushing out with it to his pricey car.

The grand total of loot taken from both businesses? Only $35.

"What's he going to do with that? Tickle the gas tank with a few drops of gasoline?," Flores says.

And even though a tip jar may seem almost too minor to steal, for workers like Flores, they mean so much more.

"Some people here they have to take care of the bills and that tip right there is the extra thing that can get us by you know?"

Officials say when caught, the suspect faces misdemeanor petty theft or commercial burglary charges.