Police investigate tip jar thefts at local cafes

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Some local businesses took to social media this week, reporting stolen tip jars. Some owners said they think it’s the same guy.

Jada Webb, a barista at Cafe Sasso, was just about to close on Wednesday evening when she said one final customer came in. He asked for a cup of ice, she bent down to grab it, and when she looked back up she said he was running out the door with their tip jar in hand.

“I ran out behind him and I see him jump in a car with a woman driving and speed off and he kept screaming, ‘drive drive drive’ before he hopped in the car,” said Webb.

She said the cafe just installed security cameras three weeks ago because of stolen tips.

“I wasn’t scared it was just more disappointing that I worked that long just to get all my money stolen right at the end of my shift, I was more so angry,” she said.

They’re not the only ones. Colleen Baker owns Cheesy Eddie’s. She said her staff has been dealing with someone coming in and taking their tips. When he came in yesterday and asked for a drink of water, Baker was the one behind the counter.

“I said, ‘wait a minute you look like who my staff has been telling me about.’ So I said, ‘just a minute’, and I started to walk around the corner and he grabbed the whole jar and ran and there was a car parked out front here and he jumped in,” she said.

Baker said for her, it’s personal. All their tips go to a staff member who’s battling cancer.

Jessica Stroud owns Cafe Sasso. Both she and Baker said they just want the kid to get the help he may need.

“I’ve been asked if we want to press charges and I don’t feel comfortable pressing charges on someone that’s so down on their luck even if they are a criminal,” said Stroud.

Stroud said after seeing how much this one camera paid off they’ll be buying more cameras to cover the full square footage of the restaurant.

To clarify, News 8 doesn’t have confirmation that it’s the same person in both restaurants. We’ve spoken to a family member of the suspect who said the man has been struggling recently.

News 8 also reached out to the Rochester Police Department, they have not responded.

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