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.