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.”