California woman Ramineh Behbehanian, 50, was arrested Monday for attempted murder.
Behbehanian reportedly entered a Starbucks in San Jose on Monday afternoon, slipped a couple of orange juice bottles from her bag, and placed them in the store’s refrigerated display case.
Another customer, who saw Behbehanian at work, reported the sighting to a Starbucks manager. Behbehanian quickly fled the scene, but not before an employee was able to take down her license plate number as she screeched away.
“I think the [customer] saved lives by doing that,” says Sgt. Jason Dwyer. As it turns out, Dwyer says, firefighters who were called to the scene tested the contents of Behbehanian’s bottles; they determined that the bottles contained a "lethal quantity" of isopropyl rubbing alcohol.
Luckily, no one drank from the bottles. However, Behbehanian is now in custody, facing charges of attempted murder and felony poisoning.
“We're immensely grateful to the vigilant customer who immediately did the right thing by notifying our store partners who immediately pulled the juice from the shelves and quickly notified the authorities," Starbucks spokesperson Zack Hutson told the Associated Press.
Authorities have stated that Behbehanian could make her first appearance in court as soon as Thursday, though her motive is yet to be determined.
Hutson explained that, as a “precaution,” the San Jose Starbucks destroyed all of its remaining juices from the open-air refrigerator. Other Starbucks nearby were apparently also advised to check all their juice bottles to make sure they were all still factory sealed.
So what does this mean for food safety? Will we see an influx of credit-card-protected cold cases hit Starbucks stores everywhere? Or airport-style x-ray entranceways in coffee shops across the nation?
Perhaps Behbehanian is just watching out for Starbucks’ signature products. I mean, who really goes to Starbucks for an OJ over a Double Chocolatey Chip Frappuccino?
Source: Associated Press