A POPULAR café has been robbed in broad daylight by a thief who tricked a young staff member who was simply trying to help him.
In the six years it has been open, The Girls Coffee Bar has never had a thief walk away with stolen cash. Until Friday.
Owners Jody Davis and Katrina Birch took to Facebook to share their story and to warn other local restaurants about the thief.
Ms Davis said a young employee had been asked to change money over by a customer.
She said the trusting worker was happy to help at first but when the man asked to change even more cash she said no.
"The man took his money back and handed back ours but was $500 short," Ms Davis said.
"He hid it in his palm, like a magic trick and obviously he was gone by the time our employee had noticed."
Ms Davis said she was overwhelmed by the support from customers and social media users had offered since the theft.
The business shared a post and photo about the robbery on Facebook on Friday at 5.35pm.
Since then it has been shared more than 350 times.
"We are lucky we can get it out on social media to warn others," she said.
"That's why I put it up there. You need to educate people in our industry that there are people out there like this and we all need to be wary.
"It's all about getting that message out there."
The robbery follows a string of unrelated offences in south-east Queensland which resulted in a warning issued by police on July 7 after nine businesses, including banks, were robbed by conversion or trick in Maryborough, Gympie, Agnes Wates, and Browns Plains.
Police do not believe the Girls Coffee Bar robbery is connected to the other robberies.
Ms Davis said the man who robbed her business drove a silver car.
"Please share (our story) so you, friends and family can be ready," she said.
Jody said the $500 theft was a lot of money to lose for such a small business.
"Katrina and I worked for free over the weekend. We are a small business and that is a hell of a lot of a money," she said.
"But we live and learn and we will be educating our staff more. That's the positive, we have learned from it."
Police are still investigating the incident.