Welcome back to another exciting installment of This Week in Starbucks Crime, in which we catalog the bad acts occurring at Starbucks' 16,000-odd worldwide locations over the past seven days, as well as the week's fallout from prior Starbucks-related misdeeds. This week, Starbucks criminals have taken a back seat to a class of individuals we will call the Starbucks aggrieved. Also, we offer a theory on where all the Starbucks criminals have gone. Sound exciting? We think so too!
First, we travel to Arkansas, where on Wednesday a balding, middle-aged man in square-framed glasses visited the drive-thru of his local Starbucks on Broadway Street in Little Rock.
After placing his order, the man grabbed the tip jar sitting on the drive-thru counter and drove off. Starbucks employees told cops that the man had absconded with about $40 in tips. What kind of car was he driving, you ask? Good question. He was driving a Land Rover.
As alluded to earlier, this was a slow week for Starbucks crime. It was, however, an extremely eventful week for Starbucks labor grievances. There was a demonstration in Denver over lacking sick leave, a class-action lawsuit in California over the nonexistence of overtime pay for training-material memorization, and a $10,000 fine levied against Starbucks by the Taiwanese government for discriminating against a would-be employee with epilepsy.
Topping it all off was a tip-jar-related showdown in the Big Apple. On Wednesday, a Federal District Court judge in New York City threw out a case brought by former Starbucks assistant managers claiming they were denied their share of tips.
Since assistant managers, unlike the baristas working under them, are salaried with benefits, we're not sure what they're complaining about. And neither, evidently, was Judge Laura Taylor Swai, who ruled on Monday that they hadn't shown why they were entitled to share in the tip-jar cash.
Regular readers of TWISC may well be wondering: Where have all the Starbucks criminals gone? Have the toilet-cam operators, scalding-water-throwers, and public masturbators gone the way of the dodo? Here's a theory, which we summarize in two frightful words: Dunkin' Donuts.
Lest you suspect we are merely constructing our theories out of thin air, let us present the following evidence:
Are Starbucks criminals going down-market?
*This unsolved homicide, which took place early on Tuesday morning, occurred in the parking lot of a Jersey City Dunkin' Donuts.
*This early-morning burglary on Thursday in Toms River, New Jersey, also took place at a Dunkin' Donuts. (Alarmingly for TWISC readers, it marked the fourth time the same store has been burgled in the past month.)
*And in Chicago Heights, Illinois, a woman with a baby was allegedly slammed into a building and smacked in the face by a group of other women on Tuesday after apparently cutting in line at her local Dunkin' Donuts.
Tip-jar thieves notwithstanding, we are beginning to wonder: Have Starbucks criminals found greener grass on the low-rent side of the coffee divide?