LAUDERDALE LAKES, FLA. (WSVN) - The owner of a Lauderdale Lakes restaurant said surveillance video tipped him off as to who stole over $1,000 in employee tips: it was an inside job.
Speaking with 7News on Friday, Christopher “China Man” Brown, the owner of World Famous along West Oakland Park Boulevard, said the culprit grabbed cash from tip cups at least 12 times.
“She was getting an extra paycheck on top of her paycheck,” he said.
Now he wants this employee to pay up.
“These girls work really hard. They work on these food trucks,” he said. “We go out, and they make good money.”
Brown, who spoke with 7News in a room full of monitors, said he can’t believe one of his employees would do this.
“She’s going through multiple cups, moving money over. She moves money over to this cup, then moves money over to the other cup,” he said, “so she’s grabbing from all my hard workers their hard-earned money, and she’s just helping herself, Ms. Santa Claus.”
The security footage catches the employee in the act.
“She’s gotta organize it, so it’s easier to take when the coast is clear,” said Brown.
The business owner said his employees save their tips, collecting hundreds of dollars over time.
Brown said the employee responsible even went as far as replacing tip cups with an empty one.
“She’s actually getting a new cup and writing her name on it because her other cup is probably too full,” he said.
Brown thinks this employee walked away with at least $1,100.
At one point, she is seen dancing while she’s stealing the money.
“She starts getting jiggy with it after a little bit,” he said.
The video shows the thief stuffing cash anywhere she can: her cup, her pocket, even her bra.
Brown said another employee eventually noticed her cup of tips was short.
“When she comes back over here and makes the comment, that’s when she denies,” he said.
Brown said he called the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Deputies responded and confronted the employee at work.
That employee is now out of a job and could pay up in even more consequences.
“It was so obvious. It’s like, why would you do that?” said Brown.
As of Friday evening, BSO detectives have not made an arrest.
Brown said he plans to compensate the employees who had their tips stolen.
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