Baristas work hard making your espresso drinks, and they're grateful whenever someone leaves a tip to show their appreciation. A man caught stealing money from one coffeehouse's tip jar might've cast a shadow on the holiday season, but the store used this theft as a reason to give back.
Security footage from late November shows a man reaching into the tip jar at the Nervous Dog Coffee Bar in Stow, OH, waiting until the barista's back was turned to grab a handful of bills.
"He stuck his hand straight into the tip jar and took out as much as he could get and walked out like nothing happened," says store manager Scott Moses to WKYC News.
Instead of reporting the crime to the police, the store's employees and owner Michael Litt have decided to give the thief the benefit of the doubt.
"We assume that if he was desperate enough to steal tips, he's probably in desperate times," says Moses. "In the holiday spirit, we decided to help this guy out."
The coffeehouse has started a food drive, collecting canned goods from customers and the community. If the man comes forward, the food will be given to him, no questions asked. He'll also be offered free brewed coffee for the remainder of the year.
So far, the store has received three boxes of food - and there's been a lot of controversy. Several commenters on their Facebook page have questioned their actions, alleging that this is rewarding bad behavior. The store's employees see it differently.
"Best way we can think of is to keep working with you - our community - to allow this to continue to propagate kindness and generosity to those with whom we share our world," writes Litt.
If the man who stole the money doesn't return by Christmas, the store will donate the food to the Akron Food Bank. No matter what, someone will be benefit from this act of kindness.