Tip jar theft leads to police chase, arrest near UC Berkeley

Berkeley Police arrested two young men on Feb. 14 after they stole a tip jar. File photo.

Police arrested two young men on Valentine’s Day after they stole a tip jar from a burger shop just north of the UC Berkeley campus, authorities report.

A neighborhood resident who saw the arrest, near Le Conte Avenue, said one of the young men ran from police, “and the other stayed in place but had to be wrestled down to the ground.”

The theft took place at a business in the 2500 block of Hearst Avenue, near Euclid Avenue, at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, said BPD Sgt. Veronica Rodrigues. Two juveniles stole money from the tip jar, she said.

The business was identified in scanner traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside as The Snack Shack at 2505 Hearst Ave. The owner or an employee followed the thieves and called in their location in police, according to the scanner information.


One of the individuals was described over the scanner as “uncooperative,” and shouting and cursing could be heard over the radio. Police called for back-up and put the emergency beeper on during the arrest.

During the incident, police were asked to look for the missing tip jar, which was described as a “giant” brown mug, according to radio traffic.

The local resident who saw the arrest told Berkeleyside there were at least five police cruisers on the scene and described the incident as a “stronger response than we usually see in our neighborhood.”

Editor’s note: This story was updated to remove a photo that showed one of the juveniles under arrest.