Photo: Andrew*, Flickr
Starbucks has done just about everything it can to make you as comfortable as possible and to turn its ubiquitous coffee shops into your home away from home--but maybe it's made you too comfortable.
One important difference between your living room and your local Starbucks is (presumably) you don't have an army of strangers traipsing through your living room as your kick back with your iPad and your morning cup of coffee. It seems obvious enough, but apparently, according to the New York Times, it's a distinction that's increasingly lost on a number of people -- and they're losing their purses, wallets and laptops, too.
It turns out that customers lost in a haze of cappuccino foam and engrossed in the blue glow of their computer screens make perfect targets for pickpockets, who have no qualms lifting your wallet out of the coat you've so casually tossed on the back of a chair. The same goes for those harried folks who save a table with a cell phone or run to the bathroom and leave their laptop behind – only to return to an empty table.
The Times doesn't give any statistics as to how many thefts are occurring at Starbucks in New York or elsewhere, just anecdotal evidence from cops who have even gone so far as to use decoy purses or laptops at the coffee shops in order to snare thieves.
Not surprisingly, Starbucks doesn't appear eager to have it's customer think that they still can't go there to sink into a leather club chair and lose themselves in their Chai Soy Lattes. A terse reply from corporate headquarters to the Times read: "Customers should always be aware of their surroundings when in public places, whether at one of our stores or elsewhere."