The tip jar bandit has struck again. The grand total of loot taken in two days: roughly $35.
As many who’ve commented and shared on the story have noted, that’s not enough to fill up the gas tank of the thief’s getaway car — a Mercedes-Benz.
For what turns out to be two days in a row last week, the thief walked into a beverage shop, talked briefly to someone behind the counter and, when the worker turned away, stole the store’s tip jar, fleeing in a Mercedes-Benz.
After The Signal’s story about a tip-jar burglary on June 12, an employee of the Juice It Up! shop on Sierra Highway at Via Princessa, in Canyon Country, said a man did the same thing at the juice shop the previous day, on June 11, at around the same time, 12:36 p.m.
The man who swiped the tip jar at Juice It Up! sported a different shirt, but similar baseball cap and sunglasses, and had the same type of getaway car, a black Mercedes-Benz, as the man who committed a similar heist the next day at the Bodhi Leaf Coffee Traders shop in Canyon Country.
The theft was captured by video surveillance at both the coffee shop and by the juice shop on back-to-back days and shared with The Signal.
When Flores saw published footage of the coffee shop theft, he alerted The Signal it appeared to be work of the same culprit.
“You’re so desperate you’re going to steal $15 in a tip jar? I can’t wrap my head around it,” said Flores.
His boss and his boss’s wife were working at the juice shop when the tip jar bandit hit.
“This guy came into the store and he was asking, ‘What’s good here?’” Flores said, noting that after the inquiry the suspect walked out of the shop briefly, returning to the counter seconds later.
“His car was parked on the curb, a Mercedes, black,” Flores said
When the suspect re-entered the store, “He waited until they turned away and then he took it,” he said.
Detectives with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station confirmed Flores’ story.
“On Monday, June 11, at 12:36 p.m., deputies responded to a petty theft,” said Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station.
“A male adult asked for a menu and while he was looking at the menu he grabbed the tip jar,” Miller said. “He was seen getting into a black vehicle.”
The video surveillance captured inside the Juice It Up! shop is almost identical to the footage captured by surveillance at the Bodhi Leaf Coffee Traders inside the strip plaza of shops on Soledad Canyon Road, just east of Bouquet Canyon Road.
It was his mother, Flores said, who made the connection, having seen the coffee shop tip jar caper.
In the June 12 tip jar heist, the thief walked into the coffee shop, talked casually to the barista, waited for her to step away and then stole the tip jar, a store manager said Tuesday.
Coffee shop manager Stephanie Inmon said Tuesday: “I’d like him to get caught. We have a tip jar out for our employees,” she said. “People work hard for the money they get.”