Teens steal Starbucks tip jars

Mountain View police are looking for a group of teenagers who went on a robbery spree Tuesday, stealing tip jars from three local Starbucks coffee shops.

Not only were coffee shop employees robbed of their tips, one of them -- a 19-year-old at the Starbucks on Pear Avenue -- was punched while confronting the thieves, said police spokesperson Liz Wylie.

In that incident, two employees leaving the Pear Avenue coffee shop saw someone walking out with what appeared to be their tip jar, Wylie said. The two employees stopped to confront the teen, who was about to get into an older-model red Japanese import four-door along with four or five other teens. The subsequent confrontation resulted in the employee being punched before the teens got away.

All of the suspects are described as Latinos or Pacific Islanders. The main suspect is described as being about 18 years old, of medium height and build, wearing an oversized red T-shirt and dark pants.

After the Pear Avenue theft, the employees called other local Starbucks to warn them about the tip jar thieves. Employees at the Castro Street and Rengstorff Avenue Starbucks said they then saw that their tip jars had vanished. They said they had seen the suspects as described, but did not see them steal the tip jars.

Because the teens clearly had a plan to steal tip jars, police have classified the crime as a felony burglary, not petty theft. Police are in the process of obtaining security camera footage from Starbucks.

Anyone with information can leave an anonymous tip to police at (650) 903-6344.


Posted by Peter, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 18, 2009 at 2:13 pm

What a bunch of mean people. I suspect that they are suffering inside to do something as low as that.

Posted by Old Ben, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 18, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Your concern for their precious feelings is touching, Peter. We should see to it that their suffering increases exponentially, and soon.

Posted by Bob, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 18, 2009 at 4:31 pm

who gives a crap what they are feeling? Geez! I agree with Old Ben.

Posted by Jimbob, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 18, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Don't they chop your hand off for stealing in some countrys?

Posted by Mr. Worldallwrong, a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 19, 2009 at 6:42 am

They robbers probably had an abused childhood and needed the $ to buy DOPE. [Portion removed]

Posted by InTown, a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 19, 2009 at 9:43 am

First the motley crew of teens wielding plastic pipes and now this. Seems like bored teenage syndrome has been unleashed on our communities.

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