SOUTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) - A tip jar has been stolen from a South Miami restaurant, and the owners said the crooks were just kids.

They say there’s a first time for everything, and the juvenile crime occurred at Mojito Grill on Monday night. The owners said in the 21 years that the business has been open, no one has ever tried to steal their tip jar until now.

“It’s sad to get a call from the employees telling me that someone came in and took something from them,” said Mojito Grill co-owner Jorge Guanchez.

It was around 6:30 Monday night at the restaurant off Southwest 57th Avenue, near Sunset Drive, when two kids were caught on camera walking up.

One held the door open for the other, and a boy in black is seen pacing near the counter for a second or two before he goes for the grab. Tip jar in hand, the two bolted out the door.

The customer at the counter along with the employees were left in awe.

One of the employees tried to chase after the two junior thieves, but they were long gone.

“To our employees, this really just kills our morale. During a post-pandemic, so to speak, everybody’s doing what they can. Everybody’s stressed out working, and at the end of the day, these tips is just a little extra for them to take home,” Guanchez said.

Those same employees behind the counter served up some customer favorites Tuesday, while South Miami officers got to work tracking down the crooks.

“I’ve been coming here for years, and they work really hard from morning to nighttime, and I feel really bad for them that they were taken advantage of,” said a customer.

“It may be only $20 or $30, but to these guys, it’s a lot more than $20 to $30. It’s peace of mind,” Guanchez said.

A new tip jar sits at the counter, but employees hope the two kids wise up and return the original tip jar they stole with the money inside.

They also hope that someone recognizes the kids and calls South Miami Police.

If you have any information regarding the kids’ identities, 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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