NEWHALL (CBSLA) — Officials are on the hunt for a serial tip jar thief who has struck several stores in the Santa Clarita Valley.
What’s especially infuriating about the thief is he flees the scene in a Mercedes-Benz.READ MORE: Three Rushed To Trauma Centers From Five-Vehicle Crash In Costa Mesa
KCAL9’s Peter Daut reported from a Juice It Up in Newhall, one of the thief’s most recent hits.
The swindle has left a sour taste in the employees’ mouths.
“It’s ridiculous,” says employee Matthew Flores.
He said the suspect came into the store on June 11 and pretended he wanted to order a smoothie while talking on a cellphone.
Security video shows the man waited until the worker turned her back and quickly grabbed the tip jar and took off.
“I think it’s real petty,” Flores said. “You don’t want to work for your money, and you’d rather just steal tips that we get?”READ MORE: Hot, Dry And Windy: Critical Fire Weather Coming To Southland
Officials said the thief struck again the very next day.
This time at the Bodhi Leaf Coffee Traders in nearby Canyon Country.
Wearing the exact same hat and glasses, the man again waited for the worker to step away before swiping the tip jar and rushing out with it to his pricey car.
The grand total of loot taken from both businesses? Only $35.
“What’s he going to do with that? Tickle the gas tank with a few drops of gasoline?” Flores asked.
And even though a tip jar may seem almost too minor to steal, for workers like Flores, they mean so much more.
“Some people here they have to take care of the bills and that tip right there is the extra thing that can get us by, you know?”MORE NEWS: Coronavirus Hospitalizations Continue To Rise In Los Angeles County
Officials say when caught, the suspect faces misdemeanor petty theft or commercial burglary charges.