The controversy: Starbucks has become fertile hunting grounds for thieves, reports The New York Times, noting that the coffee chain's outlets pop up repeatedly in police reports of non-violent crimes. Even in New York City, where locals and tourists alike normally pride themselves on remaining vigilant, Starbucks customers apparently think nothing of using unattended bags and laptops to "save" their tables while they stand in line. Others become engrossed in their magazines or tablets, leaving crooks free to walk off with their wallets, the Times says. Does the aroma of coffee and the soothing sounds of Sarah McLachlan really make us such easy marks?
The reaction: Fess up, everybody, says Britain's Daily Mail. "We've all done it: Tossed a coat or a purse on to one of those famously comfortable chairs to save it while standing in line for a cappuccino." With such easy pickings, it's easy to see why thieves patronize Starbucks. What gall, says Lari Apple at Gawker. It's like these criminals "don't even understand the whole point of the Starbucks experience!" Humble suggestion: Keep an eye on your stuff, people — or chain it to your person. Better yet, why not (gasp!) brew your own coffee at home?