MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — A brazen thief caught on camera stealing money out of the tip jar at a popular Murfreesboro restaurant, returned the money and apologized.
Security video at Demos' Restaurant shows a man approaching the to-go counter Friday evening and asking to buy a jar of seasoning. When the employee behind the counter turned around to get the jar, he grabbed cash from the tip jar and stuffed it in his to-go bag.
Owner Peter Demos said the man entered the restaurant with a woman. They had dinner and spent more than an hour in the restaurant before the crime.
"He was very brave in the fact he was doing this while people were walking by," said Peter Demos. "In our 30-year history, we have had occasional thefts before, but nothing like this."
Four days later, the man called the restaurant and said he made a mistake and wanted to return the money. He returned to the restaurant Tuesday evening and gave the money back. There was around $150 dollars in the tip jar at the time.
Demos said the incident was especially frustrating because it came as the restaurant industry struggles to recover from the pandemic. He said every dollar in tips goes a long way in helping employees.
"These are people who are working hard, and he is taking from them," said Demos.
While the restaurant is already equipped with security cameras, Demos said there weren't plans to increase security measures.
"We just have to be cautious that cash is something you need to keep an eye on and watch," he said.