Surveillance video captures woman taking money from tip jar at Reading pizzeria

Walter Perez Image
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
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Surveillance video captures woman taking money from tip jar at Reading pizzeria. Walter Perez reports on Action News at 5 on Oct. 1, 2019.

READING, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Surveillance cameras inside Frank's Trattoria captured the scene Saturday.

Two people walk in, place an order, and then when the restaurant employee turns away, one of the customers reaches into the tip jar and takes some money.

Then, a few seconds later, the woman does it again.

Edgardo Ortiz, who works at Frank's Trattoria, says the person in the video probably made away with less than $20, but it still hurts.

"We do count on that. Like, we do count on the tips because we can't fully pay every employee, drivers, and they get paid daily. The tips help make up the difference on slow days," he said.

Managers at the restaurant say what makes this case even more bizarre is that they recognize the suspect as someone who comes in for lunch a few times a month.

Still, the people at Frank's Trattoria say that while they don't condone thievery, they understand that times are tough for a lot of people.

"I think they was more in need. I think if they still are in need that they can get the help they need. I think they can still better themselves. There is still time," Edgardo said.

Action News spoke with people who live nearby who were less understanding.

Those tips are for the people doing the work. It's not stealing from a company, it's stealing from the workers who need it," said Elena Tejeda.

Danny Campbell agrees.

"They should be ashamed of themselves for doing something like that, you know? It is going to catch up with them. What goes around comes around," Campbell said.

A police report has been filed. There is no word if the second person in the video is being considered complicit in this crime.

Anyone with information is asked to call Reading police.