Restaurant manager fights off man trying to steal tip jar in El Cerrito

A tip jar at La Vita Bella Coffee Shop, 475 Main St., Wednesday morning. (Photo by Lewis Geyer/Digital First Media/Boulder Daily Camera via Getty Images)

A manager fought off a man trying to steal the tip jar at an El Cerrito restaurant, and police finished the job, arresting a suspect they say threatened staff with a knife and stole property from the restaurant Friday.

A 39-year-old Oakland man is suspected of having tried to steal the tip jar at a Mr. Pickle's Sandwich Shop on San Pablo Avenue around 1:30 p.m. Friday, police said. The manager struggled with the suspect and recovered the tip jar, according to police. The suspect grabbed a knife and threatened restaurant staffers, who fled to the kitchen, police said.

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The suspect left with property belonging to the restaurant, according to police.

Officers tracked down and arrested the man on suspicion of robbery and a parole violation warrant and he was booked into the Contra Costa County jail, police said.