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Video: Not-So-Smooth 'Tip Jar Bandit' Snatches From Westside Restaurants

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There's a new menace to the workers of the Westside: The Tip Jar Bandit.

Does she steal because she needs the money, or just for the thrill? These are the questions residents of Los Angeles' Westside are asking (we imagine) while the Tip Jar Bandit runs a reign of terror on hard-working food service employees.

Video surveillance of the woman shows her not-so-nonchalantly walking into Slicetruck Sawtelle, a pizza parlor at 1212 Sawtelle Blvd. in West L.A., on January 14 near 10 p.m. The video shows her talking briefly to an employee, then waiting until his backed is turned to snatch a wad of tips and shove them into her purse. She allegedly made off with around $30 to $40.

But the heist at Slicetruck was not her first attempt; it was her third known attack.

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The Tip Jar Bandit also struck at Seoul Sausage at 11313 Mississippi Avenue in West L.A. last Thursday. In this instance, an employee saw her reach into the tip jar and called her out, LA Weekly reports. The woman pretended she didn't know what the employee was talking about, but then threw the cash back and left when the employee threatened to call the police.

On Monday, she showed up at Komodo at 8809 West Pico Boulevard in Pico-Robinson at around 8:45 p.m. as the restaurant was preparing to close. A cook reported seeing her pretending to be on the phone while casing the joint. She then went into the restaurant, asked a few questions about the menu, then sneakily managed to steal from the jar four times. Four times! This time, she made off with between $40 to $50.

It might not seem like a lot of money to risk going to jail for, but it is hard-earned money brazenly stolen from the employees of these establishments.

The thief is described as of Persian or Iranian descent, in her mid-20s and of average build with long, dark hair. She is said to drive a white Infinity. She may pretend to be on her phone or ask employees lots of questions while preparing to steal. Anyone with information or who recognizes her should call the police.