WARNING: Be careful with your phone/tech while at local coffee shops

A resident is warning others about the dangers of phone and other tech-related thefts at local coffee shops:

On Sunday (Feb. 17), while working in the White Center Starbucks on SW 100th Street and 16th Ave SW, someone grabbed my iPhone off the table and ran out the door while I was sitting there.

It was next to my laptop while I was working.

The Starbucks folks said they have been having recent issues with theft.

Since sharing my story with others, I’ve learned that this is not an uncommon occurrence:

  • People shared stories of having a backpack taken from under the table while they were sitting at a Panera Bread.
  • Another told me someone had taken their purse on the bench seat next to them and ran with it.
  • Another said that a friend of theirs had their phone grabbed out of their hand!
  • Another thing I learned, in talking with my son who works for Apple, is that a new trick hackers are employing is to set up a mobile device that looks like WiFi with the name of the business so that people connect to them thinking they are “Starbucks” or “Apple Store.”

The victim also reported this incident to police, and they have the serial number of the phone and said they would contact Starbucks about surveillance video.

“I also contacted Verizon and had it blacklisted and put on the stolen list so no one can activate it.”


2 Responses to “WARNING: Be careful with your phone/tech while at local coffee shops”
  1. jimmy says:

    I been concern for awhile about this my self that’s why I don’t bring my tablet out of my house unless if I am on road trip ( I put it out of view if I leave it in the car) . I also don’t put on head phone’s when walking around town . You can’t hear what’s going on around you can leave you as a target for theft . I also try not to use my phone in public unless if it really needed . Sometimes your phone can take your focus away from your surroundings and leave you as victim for crime .

    I also try to be aware of my surroundings make eye contact with people . Which sometimes be taking the wrong way . If you give someone a dirty look on accident but as along you smile say sorry if needed it’s fine .

    I don’t carry much cash on me unless if I am heading to spend it . Then I try to carry only what I plan on spending . If someone ask for spare change I say sorry nope no cash . If I find someone walking close up behind me I move out of way let them pass . If they look like might be up to no good I keep my hand in my pocket on or near a Self defense device (legal size knife or stun gun) . Just in case

    In 20 years of doing this I have only to pull my knife one time a few years ago on 3 rather large men (2 at about 270lbs and 1 at about 400 lbs Tongan or Samoan ) that started talking trash to me one night after asking me for spare change . When I was coming out of the mini mart on 128th and 1st ave . They back off and I went on my way . There were 2 police in the mini mart that were on there way out . I have no clue if they seen anything but no crime done nothing they could really do .

  2. Thom says:

    There was a snatch and run at the Starbucks on 16th and 100th SW on March 1.

    I was there when a girl got her laptop and phone snatched. People were able to wrestle the laptop away
    but they got away with the phone.

    Cops took down descriptions. Two teen girls, one ~5’2″, one a bit taller. Both with medium brown skin, short hair and short girl had a red hoody on. I saw them running due west past the Chase Bank before losing sight. Not much else can be done.

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