Tip jar stolen from Lower Hutt cafe, leaving end-of-year staff party in doubt

Normablue cafe staff member Gillian Giles points at a sign put up in the Lower Hutt cafe after their tip jar was stolen ...
WELLINGTON DISTRICT POLICE/FACEBOOK

Normablue cafe staff member Gillian Giles points at a sign put up in the Lower Hutt cafe after their tip jar was stolen earlier this week.

A thief has stolen the tip jar from Lower Hutt's Normablue cafe, putting its end-of-year staff barbecue in a spot of jeopardy.

Manager Ally Hughes said the tip jar was stolen earlier this week. Her staff worked hard to build up their tips, and while the $30 that was taken might not sound like much, it took time for that money to build up, she said.

Hughes' sister and cafe employee Gillian Giles said the staff "BBQ" was "more of a B" at this stage with the money gone.

While it might seem like a small crime, cafe manager Ally Hughes said her staff worked hard for their tips, which were ...
DEAN KOZANIC/FAIRFAX NZ

While it might seem like a small crime, cafe manager Ally Hughes said her staff worked hard for their tips, which were not always easy to come by. (FILE PHOTO)

"It just happened to be that one of our customers came in for a hot chocolate and she's a police officer. She goes, 'now, I'm going to get a photo of you and put it up on our Facebook page'."

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The post on the Wellington District Police Facebook page called on the thief to "please do the right thing" and return the money to its rightful owners.

"It might not seem like a big deal but even small crimes likes these have an impact on people," police said.

"Someone has stolen money that was generously given to the cafe staff who work very hard every day to serve their customers."

Lower Hutt Senior Constable Andrew Moore said this sort of act was not uncommon.

"It's not unheard of for people to target tip jars or donation boxes for that sort of opportunistic theft."

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In the meantime, the sisters have reinstated the tip jar with a bit more security.

"At the moment we've got a teapot that we don't use. We've blue-tacked the bottom to the counter," Giles said.

Some string had also been employed to attach it to the till, and plans were in place to buy a little chain to secure it to the cabinet.

Giles said they had a go at yanking the new tip jar and had not been able to move it, which was a good sign.

Hughes said the local community had been absolutely amazing since hearing about the missing tip jar, 

"Everyone's going 'that sucks' and they're chucking five bucks the jar to get it back up."

Since starting fresh, a new tip jar had accrued $11.

 - Stuff

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