Darling Hamilton Heights coffee shop The Chipped Cup boasts a loyal following for its delicious caffeinated beverages as well as for its sense of community. But it appears this warm, communal spirit is not shared by the man who helped himself to money from the tip jar yesterday afternoon.
Around 12:30 p.m., a man masquerading as a customer attempted to pay for his coffee using a credit card, which was declined. The man told barista Brendan Cayton he'd use a nearby ATM and return; instead, as Cayton turned to assist another customer, the delinquent credit card holder reached his hands repeatedly into the counter tip jar, thrusting greedy handful of bills into his messenger bag.
We spoke to Chipped Cup co-owner Andrew Ding this morning, who tells us he was alerted to the theft by Cayton immediately after the suspect left the store. "He had some technique! He had that little bag there," explains Ding. "He even had another customer standing right next to him—quite brazen!" Neither Ding nor Cayton had seen this particular gent before; all told, he absconded with around $40. "This is such a local spot. Unless you live here, you don't really schlep all the way up to 149th and Broadway," Ding explained. "It's kind of silly to steal from your local place where everyone will recognize you at some stage."
The shop posted video stills of the thief to their Facebook page and issued an open letter on Imgur that scolded the "crappy" acts. "I just put [the picture] up on Facebook just for a little public shaming," says Ding. "I didn't intend to take it that far." Well, we're not above a little public scolding. Still, we don't know the circumstances behind this man's actions. Maybe it's all just a big misunderstanding among paisanos.