Posted 19 January 2013 - 19:07
As you'd done, tell her to call the police. I had a deal with a similar thing when I was manager of a busy Subway store. Make sure the CCTV captures any incidents, as that's the best defence. Usually these teens are already in trouble with the police. I had one girl run out with a sandwich and she just sat across the road eating it with her mates, thinking I wouldn't do anything - I phoned the police and they managed to catch her, though they had to chase her for quite a while. Turns out she had several other charges against her. As part of the bail conditions she wasn't allowed on the premises. She was taken to court and while she initially plead claimed to be innocent once she realised there was CCTV evidence she plead guilty. Once she apologised and paid for the sandwich she was allowed back in the restaurant and she didn't cause any more trouble.
It might sound excessive to get the police involved and pursue it to court but if you don't you tend to find the situation escalates. If one person thinks they can get away with it then their mates tend to follow. The police will explain what rights and protections you have under the law and advise you with how to deal with the situation. They're incredibly helpful and take even small crimes very seriously. The police are there to help, so don't be afraid to use them.
You really need to get her manager on side though, as without their support it will be difficult getting anything done. They should take issues like this very seriously. If not then get her to speak to her area manager and to ask for advice and support - sometimes managers get it wrong and area managers have a lot more experience. It may cause ripples but if the area manager supports her then her job will be safe.