A COUPLE who left two dogs in a boiling hot car and stole from a tip jar, also whinged about breakfast for a refund to scam the cafe of £60.
Chris Kraszewski, the owner of Carats Cafe and Bar, in Southwick, near Brighton, has spoken out after his cafe was allegedly robbed by a couple who had left two dogs in a hot car during a 24C heatwave while grabbing brunch.
The woman was seen apparently taking some coins from the staff tip jar
Chris Kraszewski, the owner of Carats Cafe and Bar
Footage shot on Brighton Seafront on Saturday shows police officers desperately breaking into the parked car.
The clip shows one of the officers forcing his baton through the top of a back window before smashing it open to retrieve a beagle and another dog from inside.
While police were breaking into the couple’s car, the pair were inside Carats Café and Bar, where they were alleged to have stolen food and tips before complaining about their food.
According to Kraszewski’s account of the incident, the couple came in with their children on Saturday June 12, just before lunch.
The children came in first and made a beeline for the ice cream cabinet, he said, before helping themselves to a couple of ice creams.
After they walked out, ice creams in hand, their parents walked in and headed to the till.
They actually dipped into the staff tip box, which was pretty unheard of.”
Chris Kraszewski, owner of Carats Cafe and Bar
While the supervisor was distracted, taking their order, the pair took several items from the counter, Kraszewski said, as well as some cakes sitting out on display.
The couple also allegedly took some drinks from the fridge but did not pay for them, according to staff.
“The crux of it is that they actually dipped into the staff tip box, which was pretty unheard of.”
“It wasn’t until the gentleman came back and complained about the breakfast – saying there was a wrong order on his breakfast – that Gabrielle thought that something was amiss.”
Kraszewski said that eventually a member of the family came back into the cafe to request a full refund.
“Normally, if there’s a problem with one meal, then we would give them a refund for just that one meal. But on this occasion he was quite intimidating.”
“I’ve asked the staff, just to protect themselves and if ever this kind of thing occurs, just to be cautious of it. So, unfortunately, a full refund was given.”
On Monday morning, after the family’s visit to the cafe was discussed during a staff meeting, Kraszewski and his team looked through the CCTV footage to find out how much they had taken and what they had done.
“Then, it became apparent they had been quite ruthless in their approach.”
The couple took about £15 in cash, Kraszewski said, as well as the refund for the meal and then stolen cakes and ice creams.
He predicted the total loss to the cafe was between £45 and 60 pounds.
The couple allegedly demanded a refund for two breakfasts after eating them
Police officers were seen breaking into the car on SaturdayCredit: WhittyPhotography
The owners complained they had broken their windowCredit: WhittyPhotography
A spokesman for Sussex Police has confirmed police were investigating.
“Police are investigating after a man and a woman went into Carats Cafe in Basin Road South, Southwick, on Saturday (12 June) at about 11.39am and stole money from the staff tip jar worth about £30,” he said.
“The suspects also stole cakes and drinks from the front counter while distracting staff.
“Anyone who witnessed the theft or have any information about the suspects is asked to report online or ring 101.”
Kraszewski said he decided to share the clip in a bid to identify the couple and prevent other businesses from getting robbed by the family too.
Since putting it up, he had been taken aback by people’s generosity.
The cafe had received phone calls from well wishers offering to pay the money taken for the staff’s tips.
Upon speaking to staff, he had decided that any proceeds given to business following the incident should be donated to shoreham dog trust, as a nod to those working to keep animals safe and well-treated.
Speaking of the incident as a whole, Kraszewski said it highlighted the issue of leaving dogs in your car when the weather is so hot.
“Although the dog wasn’t harmed, he obviously suffered,” he said.
“They sat here for 55 minutes having breakfast… which again points to the fact, the dog was in that car for some period of time.”
A police spokesperson told The Sun Online: “Sussex Police were called about two dogs left locked inside a car in the heat of the day yesterday on Madeira Drive, Brighton.
“Police officers attended and tried to get a contact number for the owners of the car but were unable.
“Officers had no choice but to smash the side window to gain access and a kind member of the public donated a bottle of water.
“The owners were given strong words of advice on returning to the car a short time later.
“The dogs, who were much improved after fresh air and water, were left with the owners. Dog owners should never leave a dog alone in a car on a warm day. If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, dial 999. “
Kraszewski suggested the couple should reconsider whether they were suited to being animal owners.
Following the incident, Carat Cafe has donated to the Shoreham Dogs Trust.
The owners were upset when they discovered their damaged vehicleCredit: WhittyPhotography