A 29-year-old Norton woman suspected in a string of tip jar thefts across Northeast Ohio is in the custody of the Cuyahoga County jail after a warrant was issued for her arrest on Tuesday.
Stepfanie Eshack pled no contest and was found guilty of petty theft charges in Rocky River on March 14 and Garfield Heights on March 23.
Police say Eshack was positively identified in a string of tip jar thefts that have plagued the west shore in particular.
On March 3, investigators say Eshack was spotted on surveillance video swiping the tip jar from the Fairview Park location of a Jersey Mike’s Subs.
“And then about a week later, the Westlake tip jar was stolen, then our Parma store tip jar was stolen,” Jersey Mike’s Subs owner John Lescher told newsnet5.com.
He said video footage connected all of the thefts to Eschak and a possible male accomplice.
On March 6, a Rocky River Starbucks location was also targeted and then a Starbucks in Westlake.
“She’s been doing it to a lot of Starbucks in the neighborhood,” an employee said in a 911 call obtained by newsnet5.com. “She did it at North Olmsted, she did it in Avon and so all of our managers have told us to keep an eye out so, she got us.”
Westlake Capt. Guy Turner told newsnet5.com that Eschak is a “prolific suspect.”
“When it started happening to us and it started happening to Rocky River, we started putting two and two together and said this is a really good lead here,” Capt. Turner said.
He discovered that even after being found guilty of petty theft in Rocky River, Eschak allegedly stole another tip jar from a Westlake Starbucks location on March 21.
A warrant was issued for her arrest Tuesday night and she’s currently in the custody of the Cuyahoga County Jail.
“And when she’s done, she’ll be coming right here to our jail,” he said.
Several area departments including Fairview also told newsnet5.com that they are considering looking into their recent petty thefts to see is Eshack could be a suspect.