Florida waitress accused of stealing hundreds by forging customers’ tips

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — A server at a Seminole County restaurant is facing theft charges after officials said she would scribble out customers’ initial tips to write in her own amount.

The investigation into 31-year-old Chelsea Reed began when management at the Town House Restaurant received a complaint by a customer that they had been overcharged on a bill.

Management conducted an investigation and found that Reed had been the same server involved in transactions in which checks had been overcharged by a dollar or more, according to Oviedo police.

Between Reed’s hiring date of May 25, 2019, and June 17, 2019, management found over 100 separate transactions that combined for over $300 in overcharges, authorities said.

After initially telling police that the customers were responsible for scribbling out the original tip amount, Reed later admitted she had been adding tips without customers’ authorization, according to police.

Reed claimed that while she knew it was wrong, she did it due to financial troubles to help support her children, authorities said.

Officials found that Reed had two prior convictions of theft, according to an arrest report.

Restaurant management said they would attempt to repay all customers affected.