Police arrest tip jar theft suspect after he knocked on window of police cruiser asking for money

Police arrested a 26-year-old man who allegedly stole the tip jar at Inkwell Monday, according to the Bloomington Police Department.

Police responded to Inkwell coffee shop in the 100 block of North College Avenue after a ceramic tip jar worth approximately 20-dollars containing about 40-dollars in tips was stolen. A witness said a man wearing khaki clothing went into the bathroom and loitered for awhile before coming out, taking the tip jar, and leaving the business. Police looking at surveillance video from the business were able to get a still image of the suspect to try to identify him.

A short time later around 12:56 p.m. Monday, October 18, 2022, near Seminary Park at Second Street and South Walnut, a man panhandling knocked on the window of a police cruiser to ask the officer for money. The police officer recognized the man from the still image, and showed it to him, and asked if he might know where the suspect could be located.

The suspect began to back away from the police car, and then ran. The officer got out of the cruiser, and chased the suspect, grabbing him from behind and tackling him to take him into custody. The officer received minor injuries to his arm while making the arrest.

Police found a hypodermic syringe they containing a crystal substance believed to be methamphetamine, a glass jar with some type of liquid, a small rubber container containing white residue believed to be meth. The police did not find the 40-dollars.

It is illegal to approach a vehicle to panhandle in Bloomington under code 35.45.17.1, which is a misdemeanor.

The suspect, who is listed on the police log as having an address “transient,” was charged with four level 6 felonies: resisting law enforcement, theft from a building, possession of paraphernalia, and possession of a controlled substance.

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