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Upminster Costa worker from Dagenham claims she was told to pay back funds following distraction robbery

PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:46 08 August 2019

Two men stole £280 from the Costa Coffee in Station Road, Upminster on Sunday, August 4. Picture: Google Maps

Two men stole £280 from the Costa Coffee in Station Road, Upminster on Sunday, August 4. Picture: Google Maps

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A 21-year-old barista working at an Upminster Costa says she was shocked after she was told to pay back £240 stolen from the till following a robbery at the store.

A student from Dagenham was training another 16-year-old worker at the Costa Coffee in Station Lane when two men entered the store and used a sleight of hand method to steal cash from the till.

Bonny Hillyard, the 21-year-old mother's, told the Recorder her daughter suffered a panic attack after she was told by the franchise owner that it was her responsibility to pay back the stolen funds.

"My daughter immediately phoned the police and the branch manager," said Bonny.

"He told them the till had to be put right by the end of the night.

"She called me and she was sobbing on the phone.

"When she got down to the station she collapsed because she suffered from an anxiety attack."

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Bonny claims that this is "regular practice" at the Costa stores in Upminster.

She added that her daughter is an engineering student in her second year at university and is reluctant to look for another summer job when she would soon be returning back to university in September.

A police spokesman from East Area Command confirmed a robbery took place at the store on Sunday,

He said: "Two males entered the store and some sort of deception occurred re exchanging of bank notes between the sales assistant and the suspects.

"At the end of the day when they cashed up, they noticed the takings were down by £280."

Costa Coffee insisted that it is not the company's policy for members of staff to pay back stolen funds.

A Costa Coffee spokeswoman, said: "We can confirm that an incident took place at the Costa Coffee store in Upminster on Sunday 4 August.

"We have not asked any of our team members to reimburse the store and are working with the police to support their investigations."

When asked to clarify why members of staff had been under the impression they were required to reimburse the company from their own wages, Costa offered no further explanation.

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