HOUSTON - Surveillance video captured the moment a suspected thief took a tip jar from a small business.
The owner doesn’t want to punish him but does want to help him get a job.
Tina Nguyen owns The Bep, located at 8300 West Sam Houston Parkway South. It's a bubble tea, smoothie and snack shop.
She said Monday around 7 p.m., around their busy time, a man walked into the store and looked like he was going to order a drink off the menu.
“He was here browsing around the store look at our menu and looking at the staff making the drinks and we’re like maybe he likes the store,” Nguyen said.
It’ wasn’t until another customer tried to tip them, that employees realized someone stole the tip jar.
Nguyen looked at her surveillance video and saw the man snagging the jar.
The man wearing a backpack is seen pacing back and forth and the moment employees turned around to make a drink, he took the jar.
“I was surprised. I thought they were joking,” explained Nguyen when her employees told her the jar was missing. “I was like, ‘Nobody is going to steal the tip jar.”
“They feel bad because after a whole day of hard work and they just don’t have anything at the end of the day,” said Nguyen about her employees. “They were sad, the staff was sad, they were like ‘Oh my gosh, how can they do that.”
The owner said there was more than $100 inside the tip jar. Nguyen said her employees are on a base salary but usually split the tips. She ponied up her money to make up for the lost tips.
As for the man accused of taking the jar, she said she doesn’t wish ill on him and wants to help him.
“If I ever see him again I would just hope that he won’t do it again. I’m not going to report to the police. I don’t want anything bad to happen to him. I hope that maybe he’s in a bad time and really needs some cash,” Nguyen said.
She said she’s currently hiring.
“If he comes back and sincerely apologizes for what he’s done and tells me he really needs help, if I can provide him something that he can make money, I would be more than happy to provide a job for him because we do need staff in the kitchen as well,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen said she has since glued the new tip jar to the counter.
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