Make stores safer in "Laptops-to-Go" Starbucks
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LAPTOPS TO GO @Stabucks: There is a pattern crime occurring throughout the country - and world - that is classified as petty theft but with a frequency that is elevating it to an urbanized problem: Device theft in Starbucks and coffee shops where people gather to work remotely. The problem is being suppressed by limiting expedient access to theft information, including: video footage and crime reports filled by the victims. This is disabling to the detectives working the crime in an already over-loaded system. The results of this suppression are most people are unaware of the crime vulnerability that exists in one of the most popular places to work in the world. And that tables located near the door are extremely vulnerable. And if you are a woman working by the door, you are a prime target for petty "snatch and run" theft. Further, the media are not given the full scope of the crime- or the connected relationships.
On December 12th, while working at Starbucks where I had lunch with a coffee, my laptop was yanked from the charging cord, from beneath my typing fingers. The thief took two steps and was out the door since I was a single female, sitting next to the door on the other side of the table. I chased the thief to the parking lot and watched the thief jump into the back and the driver of the gray hatchback backed into the parking spot, speed off with my Macbook. An expensive work device with multiple business/personal projects as well as sensitive personal information. I focused on the license plate and read it to the manager who had followed me out. Within 1 minute he had reported the incident to 911 with full description of the men, car and license plate. All of this occurred between 2:13 and 2:15 on December 12th. The crime took less than 60 seconds. There were at least 20-25 people in the shop- it was packed- along with video surveillance, including two people I knew and a man sitting by the window whose contact information I have. Once the security officer arrived 1.5 hours later, we learned that NO report had entered their system even though a full description of the 2 thieves by multiple people along with the car description and license plate had been called in less than 2 minutes after the theft. I learned later that afternoon that a 2nd crime had occurred at a Starbucks located up the street. A woman sitting by the door on her laptop.
Two weeks later, none of the file report information or video had been released to the police. My conversations with the police detective helped to connect the two crimes on the 12th and tie the crime to a stolen car and determined the exact time of the second theft- 36 minutes later. No thanks to Starbucks who withheld the information throughout the month of December - a critical time to preventing future crime. I am still working the connections on NextDoor, a neighborhood channel and excellent channel for addressing the escalating crime patterns in the Atlanta metro area.
I am submitting this petition to ask that Starbucks make a public pledge to their customers that they are aware of this problem and are going to DO SOMETHING about it. That they will work to make their customers safe. This petition is for the 100's of people that have had their devices stolen, been injured in defense of the crime, and/or suffered the critical loss of an expensive work tool, irreplaceable work, personal and sensitive financial data– impacting lives around the world. This problem is significant. IT IS NOT SAFE TO WORK IN STARBUCKS STORE. GOOGLE IT. My laptop is gone but not my anger and courage to say something. Starbucks must make their patrons aware that to sit inside their restaurants and work on expensive devices leaves them vulnerable to popular "snatch and run" crime. Particularly for women NEAR the door who are essentially: sitting ducks.
Here are just a few media stories collected along with witnesses who can report on the theft details, and to organize a coalition of people who have had their lives impacted by simply NOT knowing they were vulnerable to work in Starbucks. These do not include stories NOT reported on by the media but that occurred in 2017.
2nd theft made by the same robbers who stole my laptop on the 12th: They went up the street to the Disco Kroger and 36 minutes later stole 2 more laptops! The Media was NEVER told about the 1st theft that was connected. The media ONLY interviewed a witness. The Starbucks location on Piedmont was never alerted to a theft in another Starbucks near them. It was preventable.
More thefts in the Atlanta area in 2017 before and after the December 12th event:
Read about the 2015 Starbucks robbery in Atlanta.
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