HOUSTON -

A crook was caught on camera stealing money meant for an employee at a popular restaurant in The Heights.

According to reports, on Monday a man walked into Jenni's Noodle House on East 20th Street, asked for a cup of water from the employee at the front counter and then looked at the to-go menu.

But when the employee went to the back for a minute, the thief swiped the tip jar and took off.  And that's not all he got away with; he also stole a little bit of the restaurant's spunk.

"This neighborhood is amazing, and the customers are so fantastic," said Mossie Burcham, the restaurant's manager.  "We love our customers.  So it's just a shame that someone breached that."

It may not have been the crime of the century, but news of the tip jar heist has evoked a range of emotions from customers--from anger to compassion.

"To think you'd have to be that low, to steal from Jenni's, which is such a great place," said one customer.  "Everybody is so nice, it's really kind of sad all around."

Pictures of the suspect have been posted on the restaurant's Facebook page and inside the restaurant.  For now, it was just a tip jar, but employees said they don't want him to commit more serious crimes.

As for the employee's tips, sources told Local 2 that some customers have been tipping extra to try and make up for what was stolen.