A cafe manager says a couple who yelled at police for rescuing their dogs from a hot car also stole tips and food from her shop.
Mobile phone footage showed the pair – who have not been identified – confronting police in Brighton on Saturday after the officers smashed their car window to save the dogs, who were in cages in the boot.
The woman can be heard yelling “you broke my window out” as the car alarm goes off.
Now a cafe manager has accused the same couple of stealing from her establishment on the same day, with a police investigation launched.
CCTV footage shows the couple at the counter of Carats Café and Bar in Southwick, near Brighton, on the same day.
Staff remembered the couple as they had allegedly demanded and received a full refund for their two breakfasts.
Café manager Zoe Kibble said: “They came to the till and ordered two breakfasts and while the member of staff was distracted, they just opened the fridge next to the counter and helped themselves.
“They sat down for their breakfasts and ate most of them before complaining to the manager who was working at the time. They said there was some hair in one and complained about the other as well.
“We don’t get many complaints so we just offered a full refund.”
“We take on young people and it’s going to have a knock on their confidence.”
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “Police are investigating after a man and a woman went into Carats Cafe in Basin Road South, Southwick, on Saturday (12 June) at about 11.39am and stole money from the staff tip jar worth about £30.
“The suspects also stole cakes and drinks from the front counter while distracting staff.
“Anyone who witnessed the theft or have any information about the suspects is asked to report online or ring 101.”
In a separate statement, the force said about breaking into the couple’s car: “Officers had no choice but to smash the side window to gain access and a kind member of the public donated a bottle of water.
“The owners were given strong words of advice on returning to the car a short time later.”
They added: “The dogs, who were much improved after fresh air and water, were left with the owners.”
The police said if you see a dog in a car in distress call 999.
The RSPCA has said that dogs should never be left in a car during hot weather even in the shade or with windows open.
Dr Samantha Gaines, RSPCA dog welfare expert, said: “Dogs can suffer from heatstroke during hot weather and this can be extremely dangerous, and even prove fatal.
“If you’re heading out and about then consider whether your pet may be happier in the cool at home, only walk them during the cooler hours of the day, and never leave your dog in a car unattended on a warm day.”