Pickpockets Target Starbucks Customers

While you’re taking a break with a relaxing Trenta of Pike’s Peak Roast coffee at Starbucks, a thief could be silently snagging your wallet, reports the New York Times.

A review of crime stats and police anecdotes show that Starbucks are a favorite haunt for New York pickpockets. Part of the reason they keep showing up in reports is there’s just so damn many of them, increasing the likelihood a crime will happen there. But that’s not all. Thieves get to choose from a dense concentration of stationary targets with wallets, purses, and laptops ripe for the plucking as their owners are distracted by their beverages, daydreaming, or pounding away on their Blackberries.

Reached for comment, the chain told NYT, “Customers should always be aware of their surroundings when in public places, whether at one of our stores or elsewhere.”

Indeed, even when you’re chilling in your “second home,” you need to stay mindful of your belongings to thwart thieves preying on the unwary.

As the Careless Order a Latte, Thieves Grab Something to Go [NYT] (Thanks to Howard!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Plus, the caffeine increases the speed of the pickpocket.

  2. JennyCupcakes misses her grandson says:

    Luckily, I’m acutely aware at all times that someone somewhere is out to get me… o_O

    • Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

      I was beginning to get lonely, thinking you didn’t notice me watching you all the time.


      • JennyCupcakes misses her grandson says:

        When you’re out at Starbucks and you see a fly girl
        Do the creep

        /Lonely Island

  3. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    A good place to find victims with a surplus of money.

    • That_One_Idiot says:

      At least they’re not going for tip jars…?

    • nbs2 says:

      I’d beg to differ on that. The options at/around work – join the coffee club, which works out to something like $3/cup if you get one a day; go to McDonalds, which is always crowded, slow, reeks of grease and doesn’t offer much more than black (it isn’t a McCafe location); go to Starbucks, there are two which reduces pressure on either one. There is the cafe in our building, but they are even pricier than Starbucks (and only recently started accepting credit cards – $5 min)

      As a non-coffee drinker, I still think Starbucks is the best option for coffee drinkers that don’t bring their own from home.

  4. Me - now with more humidity says:

    Sounds like these customers…

    (puts on sunglasses)

    …got burned.

  5. OnePumpChump says:

    Don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket.

  6. cete-of-badgers says:

    I pick my own pocket at home.

  7. BlueLaughter says:

    I used to work for one, and some of my coworkers would just leave all of their crap at a table (laptop, purses, everything) when they went to the bathroom or went outside to smoke, and I just thought they were nuts. So many customers do that, too.

    One of my coworkers got on another coworker’s laptop when he went to his car to take a nap, and she updated his facebook status declaring he now had boobs.

    (Also, it’s Pike Place roast.)

    • tsukiotoshi says:

      I’ll admit to being one of those people who does that. On the other hand, I always take my wallet and phone with me (since they’re the only thing of value I own), lock my netbook, and ask one of the other regulars to keep an eye on my stuff for me. Since we see each other just about every weekday and rely on each other to keep an eye out in these situations regularly, I roll with it.

      Plus, the netbook is seriously worth like $20 if that, so the thieves would get a crappy netbook and some dog eared japanese language books. Quite the HEIST. It’ll probably bite me in the ass some day, but until then!

  8. AEN says:

    Pickpockets actually save me money. They end up stealing less from me than I would end up spending at Starbucks :)

    • Jupichan says:

      I kinda doubt a pickpocket would go after you for two or three bucks.

      • Snaptastic says:

        I recall not too long ago the news featured a thief who shot his target…and only got 86 cents from the mugging.

        • jessjj347 says:

          Yeah, I’d be more worried about not having cash. If a thief doesn’t get any cash monies, he/she is going to mess you up real bad or force you to go to an ATM.

  9. Endgame says:

    You can only get Iced drinks in Trenta, at least according to my starbucks

    • Me - now with more humidity says:

      Not at mine. I got a Venti this morning.

      • psm321 says:

        I think he meant that you can’t got non-iced drinks in Trenta. I think that’s location-specific though

    • mike6545 says:

      Trenta is only for Iced Coffee or Iced Tea, not for hot drinks or fraps. This is everywhere unless your local barista decides the rules don’t apply to her.

  10. the_real_keenfrenzy says:

    Pikes Peak = Colorado.
    Pike Place = Seattle.

    Unless that was a joke, in which case, carry on.

  11. iParadox{InLove} says:

    This is why I keep my wallet in the front of my underwear. If they can get it from me there without me noticing they deserve to keep my wallet… and if I do notice… well, I’ll give them a tip for having their hands in my pants.

    • Michaela says:

      I’ve gotten used to keeping my money in my bra. I too would be impressed if someone took my cash without me noticing.

  12. jessjj347 says:

    To be honest, I also feel unsafe walking down the street with a Starbuck’s cup in case someone decides that drinking such a beverage means I have money…who’s the paranoid one now!?

  13. u1itn0w2day says:

    Follow the money/disposable income/conspicuous consumption.

    Or the caffiene/calorie junky getting their high.

  14. mike6545 says:

    It’s called Pike’s Place, not pike’s peak. Also, you can’t get Pike’s Place in a Trenta. You can only get iced coffee and iced tea in a Trenta.