If some jerk grabs the bills from your tip jar, you’re supposed to just stand there and take it, but one Starbucks barista was having none of that. She chased the thief until police eventually caught him and charged him with robbery by assault, a second degree felony.
The crime-fighting barista followed the man out into the street, where she, another employee, and the alleged thief got into a shoving match.
From the Austin American-Statesman:
“I wasn’t scared. I mean, I fell down when he pushed me and it hurt later, but I kind of felt like I was in the right by trying to get our money back,” she said. “All I kept thinking was, ‘He can’t just take our money. That’s our grocery money, our gas money; we need that money.’ ”
Palawski said she offered to forget the incident if he returned the money. She said he responded, “Follow me, if you can.”
Palawski and another worker called police about 7 p.m.
Palawski ran down the street, following the man to a bus. She said she called out for the bus driver not to leave, saying, “That man stole our tip jar, and the police are on the way.”
The man ran again, and, again Palawski followed as he headed down an alley behind the Paramount Theatre, she said.
She eventually flagged down the cops and they arrested the guy. Meanwhile, the barista got written up for her trouble.
This particular Starbucks is so plagued with tip jar thieves that the employees actually cut the bottom out of the tipjar so that when people just try to grab it, all the money falls on to the floor.
We guess she’s just had enough of that sort of thing.
Starbucks declined to comment on the specifics but said they were cooperating with local law enforcement.
Starbucks barista helps nab man accused of taking tip jar [Austin American Statesman via Starbucks Gossip]