Coffee, Crime and Punishment

Morning coffee and newspaper – it’s an age-old tradition, which may be why there’s such a fascination among coffee enthusiasts for crime stories. There’s no shortage of stories about crimes that involve coffee in one way or another. Most of these are taken from the annals of police blotters around the country, though a few have also happened outside the U.S. borders. Here’s a quick roundup of some of the most interesting and amusing coffee crime stories to browse over your favorite mochachino.

Barista Bandits

In Monroe, Washington, a man and woman tricked their way into a Starbucks by begging to be allowed to use the restroom shortly before the coffee shop opened for business in the morning. Once inside, the male robber pulled a gun and forced the manager to open the safe. Dissatisfied with the amount of money in the register and safe, the pair manned the drive-in window while forcing employees to make coffee for the morning frapuiccino trade for half an hour to make additional cash. Once the morning rush was over, the pair made their getaway, but were arrested later that night when they stopped for gas at an area service station. A witness identified the pair as the barista bandits who had held the shop hostage.

Kops on the lookout for Kona
In Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, a thief made off with half a ton of Kona coffee beans in late May. The beans were being stored in an area home in 100 pound burlap sacks preparatory to being shipped. The coffee beans were taken sometime between May 27 and 29 while the owners were out of town. With the average price for green Kona beans hovering in the neighborhood of $25, the thieves made quite a haul. Police have asked the locals to report anyone unusual attempting to sell green Kona coffee beans.

Hot Coffee Foils Would Be Carjacker

A carjacker got a rather rude awakening when his intended victim objected to losing his car before he’d had his morning coffee. The driver had just reentered his car after buying a cup of hot coffee to go when the thief tapped on the window with a gun and motioned for the driver to step out of the car. The driver obliged by slamming the car door into the carjacker’s legs, then tossing his steaming coffee into the assailant’s face. While the would-be thief was still recovering, the driver wrestled the carjacker to the ground and held him until police arrived.

One More for the Road
In Croatia, a pair of policemen took pity on a man who was wanted for over a hundred offenses. He threw himself on their mercy, begging to be allowed to have “one last cup of coffee” at a local cafe. They agreed, and while they sat at a table in the cafe, he went up to the counter to pay the bill… and disappeared out the back door of the cafe and into the nearby woods.

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