Restaurant employee chases down tip jar thief

By Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Restaurant employees are talking after they chased down a man who had stolen their tip jar.

Surveillance video obtained by Channel 2 shows store manager Gaurab Basnet jumping over a counter on Wednesday afternoon around 3:30 when a man came in and stole the tip jar from the Subway restaurant on the 7600 block on Lyons Avenue near I-10 and Wayside near Denver Harbor.

"I was thinking I shouldn't have done it," Basnet said. "But it was just adrenaline at that time."

In the video, you first see the man lingering for a number of minutes in the lobby -- apparently waiting for the right moment to strike. When he does, Basnet and other employees take off after him -- but Basnet keeps running -- about a mile down the road he said.

"He was a young healthy man running for a mile and he could have worked instead of like, you know, running with someone else's money," Basnet said.

Basnet said the man finally stopped, gave up all the money and ran across the freeway. There wasn't much cash in the tip jar -- but Basnet said his chase was about principle -- not dollars and cents.

WATCH: Subway tip jar theft surveillance video

"It's not good because once you let them go and they kind of make it their job," he said. "They will come over here and do this again and again. So you just have to stop them."

Basnet is originally from Nepal and joined the U.S. Navy Reserve three years ago. He said his conditioning as a reservist helped him in the chase of the tip jar thief. The restaurant is hoping that anyone who recognizes the man will call police.

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