Bartender helps Florida police identify arsonists who didn't leave a tip

·2 min read

This is why it’s always a good idea to tip.

Police in Florida identified two suspects who they believe committed arson on a Key West landmark on New Year’s Eve. The suspects were apparently identified after a local bartender saw video footage of the crime and recognized one of them.

According to the bartender, he had served the man earlier that night and remembered him because he didn’t leave a tip, which made it easy to find his credit card slip.

The Key West Police Department wrote about the incident on Facebook, explaining that it occurred between 3:00 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 1. Two suspects allegedly placed a Christmas tree in front of a local landmark called the Southernmost Buoy and lit the tree on fire.

The resulting flames caused "extensive damage" to the buoy.

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In a follow-up post, the police announced that warrants had been issued for the two men.

The post states, "At about 3:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day, Key West Police and Key West Fire and Rescue were called to a reported fire at the Southernmost Point at the corner of South and Whitehead. They arrived to find the charred embers of the Christmas tree. The fire left a burned scar on the Southernmost Buoy that was about three feet wide and seven feet tall."

It continues, "The two suspects were caught on multiple cameras. Footage, some of which quickly spread on social media, shows one man dragging the tree to the location. They hid when a car drove by, then took several pictures on their phones of each other in front of the tree and buoy. Then, while one man checked the surroundings, the other lit the tree, and a fire raged. One man took one last photo of the blazing tree before the two ran out of camera range."

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The suspects were identified thanks to Cameron Briody, who was tending bar at Irish Kevin’s on New Year’s Eve, the Miami Herald reports. The bartender said that when he saw the footage of the incident, he recognized one of the faces as one of his customers that evening.

Briody remembered the man because he had ordered several drinks and never tipped. Since the customer had paid with a credit card, Briody was able to locate the receipt and give the information to the police.

According to a post by the Key West Police Department, the two suspects have made arrangements to turn themselves in.

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