Mel's Diner owner, Mel Atwell said the tip jar thieves are known to police.
Mel's Diner owner, Mel Atwell said the tip jar thieves are known to police. Christian Berechree

Couple swipes tip jar from under staff's noses

KINGAROY police are hoping to talk to a brazen couple who allegedly left a Kingaroy diner with more than a full stomach last week.

Mel Atwell from Kingaroy eatery, Mel's Diner says a couple came in last Friday morning for a meal and some lollies.

"The women put her hand bag up to block the view of the staff member and that's when the man grabbed the tip jar," she said.

"I had a new girl on the front, she only just started and they did it right under her nose.

"It was just so cunning."

The cafe owner said the tip jar, which she normally banks every Friday, would've had approximately $50 in it.

The robbery was all captured on camera and Ms Atwell said she knew who the couple were.

"They have come in a few times," she said.

The staff members did not realise the tip jar had been taken until later in the day when a regular customer tried to leave a tip.

"They said 'where is your tip jar?' and that's when we realised and looked over the cameras," she said.

Ms Atwell posted a photo of the couple on social media asking if anyone knew them and could they kindly return the money.

"I've never been one to bolt things down or lock things up," she said.

"I give people a lot of trust.

"That tip jar has been there for 10 months and we've never had any issues."

After initially claiming she would wait to hear from the couple before going to the police, Ms Atwell changed her mind once she realised they weren't going to come in.

"I wasn't going to contact the police, I was waiting for these people to bring the money back," she said.

"I have made a report and the police are looking into it."

Kingaroy police advised they have received Ms Atwell's report from Policelink and an officer would be looking into the matter.

Ms Atwell was not confident she would get the money back from the tip jar.

"No, I don't think I'll see that money again but if another business can learn from this then it has been worth it," she said.