Woman orders pastry, steals from tip jar at West Miami cafe

WEST MIAMI (WSVN) — Surveillance cameras captured a woman stealing money from a tip jar at a restaurant, Thursday, while a clerk retrieved her order.

Melissa Elias, the owner of Latin American Bakery & Cafe, said the woman walked into the store looking nervous. First, she ordered two empanadas and a soda just before 2 p.m. She split the payment, attempting to pay with her credit card and cash.

“A customer came in, she stayed here for awhile,” Elias said. “As the girls were distracted, getting her order, and also charging her for her order, she looks in the camera.”

The camera, located behind the counter clearly caught the theft, as well as the thief’s face.

“And she takes out $46,” Elias said.

The employees gave the woman her food and drink, she signed for the order and then walked out with the cash.

“For someone to come and so harshly take what they worked so hard for, it hurts my heart because I know they work hard,” Elias said.

Three employees split the tips in that jar. One cashier who depends on those tips daily had an interesting response to the theft.

“She had a very humble response and she said, ‘Well maybe she needed it more than I did,'” Elias added.

Elias hopes someone will recognize the woman and come forward to police.

If you have any information on this crime, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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