From Times Square to the Village to Brooklyn Heights, Starbucks pops up again and again on police blotters. Officers have set up stings in the chain’s stores. A commander even asked one branch to put up a sign warning customers; the manager demurred, saying such a sign required corporate approval.While these kind of things can happen anywhere, Starbucks, and coffee shops in general, seem to have a different vibe to them that relaxes people and lowers their state of vigilance. Plus, who really likes to close down and unplug the laptop every time they have to use the restroom?
No doubt such a sign would dampen the mood.
“You can let your guard down — people are sitting down and talking and using their laptops,” said Capt. Mark DiPaolo of the 84th Precinct in Brooklyn Heights, home to a Court Street Starbucks that has been the scene of four bag thefts this year. “It is a comfort zone that people have.”
Another commanding officer said people who left laptops behind to use the restroom should not be surprised to return to an empty table.
Be careful out there, folks. There are people looking to take advantage of you any chance they get.