In an act of apparent generosity, a customer at a local bar gave a $832 tip to a struggling waitress. But according to police, that money was taken by a coworker before the waitress’ shift had even ended.
Lake Havasu City Police officers were called to the business on Monday, after the theft was discovered. Police say the victim was working Sunday when a customer paid for his steak dinner with $900 in cash. The customer told her to use that money to pay for his food, and the rest would be hers to keep.
The waitress told police she was surprised, but blessed, the police report said. Police say she placed the money behind her tip jar before going outside to smoke a cigarette. When she returned about two minutes later, the victim found that her money was missing. The victim said she was “devastated,” according to police, but finished her shift.
At the end of the night, the victim asked staff at the front desk to show her video footage from the bar’s cameras.
According to police, coworker Norma C. Nisonger, 49, was sitting nearby when the victim left to take her smoke break. The video footage allegedly showed Nisonger rising from her seat once the victim had left, before approaching a table near the bar’s exit. Police say Nisonger appeared to look outside to see if the victim was still smoking, before returning to the bar and putting the victim’s money in her pocket.
Police say Nisonger left the business with another person when the victim returned.
The victim allegedly confronted Nisonger about the theft. According to the police report, Nisonger denied taking the money at first, until the victim told her she’d seen the business’ surveillance video. Police say Nisonger admitted to taking the victim’s money, and she allegedly explained that she had done so because she believed the victim would use it to buy drugs.
Nisonger allegedly agreed to return the victim’s money to her, and returned to the business on Monday. Officers were waiting for Nisonger when she arrived, and took her into custody at the scene on misdemeanor charges of theft.
Police questioned Nisonger after her arrest. According to her alleged statements to investigators, she would have kept the money, had she not been caught. Nisonger had the full amount of allegedly stolen money in the center console of her vehicle, the police report said, and surrendered it to officers at the scene.
The money was returned to the victim, and Nisonger was transported to Lake Havasu City Jail.