Tip jar bandit captured on camera becomes infamous on Facebook - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Tip jar bandit captured on camera becomes infamous on Facebook

(Source: Jambalaya Shoppe surveillance video) (Source: Jambalaya Shoppe surveillance video)
(Source: Jambalaya Shoppe surveillance video) (Source: Jambalaya Shoppe surveillance video)
(Source: WAFB) (Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB) (Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB) (Source: WAFB)
GONZALES, LA (WAFB) -

They have been walking up to the Jambalaya Shoppe for 25 years. Owner Andy Fontenot started working in the family business when he was still in high school.

"It's a good location," Fontenot said. "It's a good business. We've been blessed."

On Wednesday afternoon, those blessings turned sour. It happened just as things slowed down after the lunch rush. Cashier Shara Givens had stepped away from the counter for a break. The rest of the staff was in the kitchen. When Givens returned, something was missing.

"When I got back, it was gone," Givens said. "Sure enough, stole the tip jar."

Givens splits her tips with all her co-workers. She estimates the thief got away with less than $30, but he was caught in the act by a security camera. 

"He saw that tip jar got a little smirk on his face, and thought it was a good opportunity," said Fontenot. "He took it and rolled out before we knew what was going on."

The video is clear. A stout man in a blue-striped shirt exits a car, strolls up to the window, and looks in. When he sees no one minding the store, he takes the jar and leaves.

"I was saving my tips, which I do every week, to pay my credit card," said Givens, a single mother.

When they realized what had happened, the workers did not call the police, even though many officers eat there every day. 

"They've got bigger things to do," said Fontenot. "In all honesty, we didn't want to see someone get in a whole lot of trouble for something as petty as this." 

Instead, they put the tip thief on the internet. 

"Within a few hours, it had 5,000 likes." As of Thursday evening, more than 1,500 people had shared the video which had received nearly 40,000 views. 

Now, the man in the blue shirt is infamous on Facebook.

"He's probably looking at the video now, wishing he wouldn't have done what he did because it wasn't worth it." said Fontenot. 

The workers at the Jambalaya Shoppe want him to know one thing. "I'd like to see the guy come here, apologize, give the girls their money back." said Fontenot. "No harm. No foul. And if he's somebody who needs something -- if he's desperate and he needs food -- we'll take care of him. We'll feed him." 

Copyright 2016 WAFB. All rights reserved. 

  • Local/State NewsMore>>

  • Livingston man diagnosed with neuroinvasive West Nile

    Livingston man diagnosed with neuroinvasive West Nile

    Robert and Joyce Whiddon (Source: WAFB)Robert and Joyce Whiddon (Source: WAFB)
    Robert and Joyce Whiddon (Source: WAFB)Robert and Joyce Whiddon (Source: WAFB)

    The warnings about West Nile virus became all too real for a Livingston parish family. Robert Whiddon is the first person in the Baton Rouge area to be diagnosed with the most serious form of the disease in 2018.

    More >>

    The warnings about West Nile virus became all too real for a Livingston parish family. Robert Whiddon is the first person in the Baton Rouge area to be diagnosed with the most serious form of the disease in 2018.

    More >>
  • Business sues EBR city-parish over expansion permits

    Business sues EBR city-parish over expansion permits

    The owner of DBS is now suing the city-parish for standing in the way of its $2.5 million expansion (Source: WAFB)The owner of DBS is now suing the city-parish for standing in the way of its $2.5 million expansion (Source: WAFB)

    A local business claims the East Baton Rouge City-Parish government is standing in the way of a $20 million expansion. The CEO says the city approved the project in March, but has denied its request for permits. The controversy involves a new ordinance that could impact future growth.

    More >>

    A local business claims the East Baton Rouge City-Parish government is standing in the way of a $20 million expansion. The CEO says the city approved the project in March, but has denied its request for permits. The controversy involves a new ordinance that could impact future growth.

    More >>
  • LSU PhD student creating technique to track flooding levels

    LSU PhD student creating technique to track flooding levels

    PhD student, Felix Santiago-Collazo, is working on a model to predict both storm surge and rainfall during a hurricane (Source: WAFB)PhD student, Felix Santiago-Collazo, is working on a model to predict both storm surge and rainfall during a hurricane (Source: WAFB)
    PhD student, Felix Santiago-Collazo, is working on a model to predict both storm surge and rainfall during a hurricane (Source: WAFB)PhD student, Felix Santiago-Collazo, is working on a model to predict both storm surge and rainfall during a hurricane (Source: WAFB)

    Puerto Rico was left in pieces after Hurricane Maria tore down buildings and flood water made its way into homes, leaving families displaced, but what if there was a technique to predict how much flood water to expect?

    More >>

    Puerto Rico was left in pieces after Hurricane Maria tore down buildings and flood water made its way into homes, leaving families displaced, but what if there was a technique to predict how much flood water to expect?

    More >>
Powered by Frankly