Welcome back to another exciting installment of This Week in Starbucks Crime, in which we catalog the bad acts occurring at Starbucks' 17,000-odd worldwide locations over the past seven days, as well as the week's fallout from prior Starbucks-related misdeeds. Let's get to it, shall we?
We start this week in sunny southern California, where 25-year-old William Zafra Velasco has decided to continue facing our nation's news media's horrible fluorescent spotlight by pleading not guilty on Tuesday to 15 misdemeanor counts stemming from his allegedly--wait for it--placing a hidden camera in a Glendora Starbucks bathroom in mid-April, and taping over 40 people on the can. Original, right?
The case against Velasco seems strong, as there's surveillance footage, he confessed his guilt to cops, and since the underwear of a woman he'd allegedly been stalking was found in his apartment during a search subsequent to his arrest. No, actually, that doesn't really have anything to do with the other incident, except that it adds a 16th count of felony burglary to the case. It does speak to the fact that he allegedly stole a pair of underpants from a girl he'd been stalking, though, which would also be kind of messed-up.
Strong evidence against Fil-Am William Zafra Velasco has brought shame upon his people.
Things aren't looking up for Velasco. Filipino-American TV show Balitang America opened its report on his case with its newsreader noting that "not even his family wanted to help the so-called Filipino peeping Tom!" Ouch!
What the newsreader is getting at is that after Velasco's plea, the judge in the case upped his bail from $50,000 to $250,000, which his previously bail-posting family declined to pony up. So he's in jail now.
His lawyer, speaking to Balitang America, noted that "He's got a baccalaureate degree, he's got a master's degree, he's just been a fine person."
He's next due in court in early August.
Next, we head down the California coast to even sunnier San Diego, where on the morning of June 16, 58-year-old Dennis Christopher Lee allegedly walked into his local Starbucks, asked for and received a cup of hot water (which the chain provides free of charge), and proceeded toward the condiment stand. As he was allegedly helping himself to unspecified condiments, a Starbucks employee in her mid-20's approached Mr. Lee and informed him that condiments, unlike the tape-recorded use of restrooms, are for paying customers only. Mr. Lee allegedly responded by throwing his cup of steaming hot water at her, causing second-degree burns to her upper body.
On Monday, Mr. Lee pled not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of battery.
Unfortunately, we don't have a photo of Mr. Lee to show you at this time. Instead, here's a Venn diagram from a blog that has to do with how annoying it is when people use Starbucks terminology outside of Starbucks.
And finally over to Florida, where authorities outside Jacksonville are looking for a man who entered an Orange Park Starbucks last Friday, lunged over the counter, grabbed the money tray out of the register, and fled. It's not clear exactly how much money he got away with, though word is it wasn't much. In any case, here's the guy, caught on tape! [said in our best Hard Copy voice, natch]:
News4Jax.com This man will lunge for cash.
As ever, thanks for joining us this week. See you next Friday!