Virginia waitress knows name of customer who stole $180 in tips, has yet to press charges

Virginia News

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach waitress is hoping a customer makes amends after she says the woman stole her tips.

Jessica Hart has worked at Side Street Cantina for the last two months and says it’s a great place to work.

The restaurant was busy Saturday night, like it usually is during peak tourist season, when she was serving a table with two young women.

Hart says she carries a principal tip book and other books where customers’ checks go.

She mistakeningly gave the tip book to the table, and after the two paid and left, she quickly realized the book was missing.

“I started to look for it and I couldn’t find it anywhere. Someone said maybe a customer took it. I said that’s impossible. She said let’s look at the camera and there it was,” she said.

In surveillance video, you can see one of the customers take out receipts and cash.

“She took all the money out, all the credit card receipts, everything I had earned as tips, everything, cash, credit card sales, pulled it all out and put it in her purse, put her credit card back in to charge her dinner and put it back in for me to pick up,” she said.

Hart says she the customer took around $180.

The money would’ve gone to her family, the single mother of four said. But it’s not the loss of the cash that’s upsetting.

“It really did hurt a lot because when I get paid, my two to three dollars and hour don’t pay me. My customers pay me. That’s why I try to make them happy, because when I pay a bill, when I pay rent, it’s because of my customers. That whole time we were laughing and joking. It’s like a slap in the face, ” she said.

Hart says she’s filed a police report but has not decided to press charges yet, even though she knows the customer’s name.

She believes the customer will do the right thing by trying to make amends and is giving her a chance to do so.

“Do I need the money? Yes, I want the money. I need the money. I want it. I need it. It’s bigger than that. I just want her to say sorry. Maybe they had too many margaritas. I don’t know. That’s what I really want her to have some kind of conscience. It really hurt me more than the money,” she said. 

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