Irish News

Thursday 10 July 2014

Video: Tip jar thief strikes in Dublin – and may be making a career of it

Clare Cullen

Published 18/07/2013|11:40

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A VIDEO showing a man stealing a tip jar from a café in Dublin has gone viral – with other café owners believing they may also have been targeted.

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The video, entitled ‘Tip Jar Thief’ was posted on YouTube last night by the owner of Coffee Angels, Karl Purdy.

It shows a man talking on the phone by the counter while a girl makes coffee at the other end of the counter. The man can be seen picking up a silver jug, placing it in his bag and leaving the premises.

The Coffee Angel’s Facebook page claims that the video shows a “tip jar thief” on South Anne Street, and instructs their Facebook followers to “watch the scumbag in action”.

According to the owner, the incident was recorded on the HD CCTV camera around 3.45 yesterday. When the staff noticed the missing jar, they then rang the owner, who accessed the cameras on his phone and put the video on YouTube, around 6pm. “I put it on Twitter, via YouTube, and it just went crazy”.

According to the owner, “I don’t know if it’s true or not, but a few other cafes have contacted me and said that it looks like someone who stole our tips. Maybe he makes a career visiting cafes and lifting tip jars.”

Karl says the video was posted “as a warning to other cafes in the area, so they can keep an eye out. It’s not nice, especially for staff. It’s never a huge amount, it’s more the principle.”

Following on from the social media reaction, Karl, who initially “wasn’t going to bother” reporting it, has organised to drop the CCTV footage into Pearse Street Garda Station this evening. “They said to bring in the copy, they may know him”.

Coffee Angels has been “getting comments from all over the world” since the footage was posted and customers have been “very supportive”.

Purdy added, “I certainly would hate for the wrong person to be accused. I’m not looking for vigilante action.” He describes the man’s arm tattoos as “fairly identifiable” but says “I’d caution against anyone accusing anyone else as the guards are getting involved.”

The username @CoffeeAngel trended on Twitter last night after the video was posted and shared on the business’ Facebook and Twitter pages. This morning, the video made the front page of Reddit Ireland.

The HD CCTV cameras were installed after “something happened a few months back and upset the staff so we put it in”.

Burritos and Blues replied to the video on Twitter, writing that “our tips were robbed recently!”, and Coffee Angel replied that “someone from Clement & Pekoe also said he’s paid them a visit”.

Coffee Angels opened in Dublin in 2005, and their South Anne Street location is open since last Christmas, having started as a pop-up. They opened a new premises on Pembroke Street as recently as last Monday.

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