AKRON, Ohio - A man was caught on camera stealing from a tip jar, but instead of pressing charges, a local coffee shop is instead choosing to host a food drive.
If you saw the surveillance video from the Nervous Dog Coffee Bar in Stow, you would probably think it was a Christmas grinch stealing from these hard-working baristas.
"He stuck his hand straight into the tip jar and took out as much as he could get and walked out like nothing happened," said Manager Scott Moses.
But according to Moses and the shop's owner, this was no grinch.
"We assume that if he was desperate enough to steal tips, he's probably in desperate times," said Moses.
Instead of pressing charges or even filing a police report, the Nervous Dog found grounds for generosity.
"In the holiday spirit, we decided to help this guy out," says Moses.
Both Nervous Dog Coffee locations, in Stow and in Akron, have started a food drive. And if the man in the video comes forward, the food will be given to him, no questions asked.
But when they posted that news on their Facebook page, some people said the coffee bar was rewarding a thief.
"It definitely started a discourse. We are trying to show awareness that people are going through hard times," said Moses.
And in the spirit of the season, instead of getting steamed, these baristas are offering up an olive branch, a warm cup of coffee, and a lesson in compassion.
"If he does see this, I'd tell him to come back into the Nervous Dog Coffee Bar in Stow. We'd love to have you back," said Moses.
So far, the coffee shop has collected about three boxes of food. The first to donate was the barista to who served him that day.
If he does not come forward, the food will be donated to the Akron/Canton Food Bank by Christmas.