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An Ohio coffee shop is spreading holiday cheer with a heartwarming gesture that goes beyond festive cups and flavored drinks.

Nervous Dog Coffee Bar in Stow, Ohio, caught a man stealing cash from its tip jar, reported Channel 3, an NBC affiliate station in Cleveland. Store security cameras caught the theft on tape.

“He stuck his hand straight into the tip jar and took out as much as he could get and walked out like nothing happened,” Manager Scott Moses told Channel 3.

Instead of pressing charges, the shop let the man go, and started up a food drive for his benefit.

“We assume that if he was desperate enough to steal tips, he’s probably in desperate times,” he said.

Nervous Dog posted the video to Facebook, asking for food donations and for the thief to come forward to collect them. If he does not, the station said, the donations will go to the local food pantry.

The gesture prompted debate online. While some supported the coffee shop’s effort, others said it was rewarding a thief, Channel 3 reported.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution |