MODESTO (CBS13) – He asked for a job application, but surveillance video showed what he really wanted was the money in the tip jar.

Owners of Pura Vida, a Modesto drive-through shaved ice, coffee and treat shop, believe the thief knew what he was doing and it wasn’t long before he went straight for the tip jar.

“There’s his hand that slips in the tip jar,” co-owner Jenna Harvey said as she watched surveillance video Friday of the thief caught in the act. “He uses newspaper to cover it up”

She says the worst part is the man seen stealing posed as a job seeker.

“He had heard that we were looking for more employees,” she said. “He used that as a way to make us feel like
he was interested in the position”

The thief even filled out a bogus application. While the employee behind the counter took down follow-up information, he went for the tip jar. But that’s what tipped off the employee.

“The size of his hand kinda clinked the to jar as he pulled his hand out,” Jenna said.

As the thief walked out, the employee noticed tips were gone so he followed the guy outside

“And he told him, ‘You can either give the $5 back or [he] could call the police. It was his choice,'” Jenna said.

The man eventually gave the cash back and took off.

Jenna and her husband, recent UC Davis graduates, opened Pura Vida less than a year ago and were looking to expand for the summer rush.

“We believe in this town in the community,” Jenna said. “We were trying to do our part by creating a few extra local jobs.”

Because of the brazen theft, the shop is now only handling applications online. They also only keep no more than $5 in the tip jar.

“We are looking for honest, hard-working people who don’t have sticky fingers,” she said.


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