Ramineh Behbehanian was arrested on Monday for allegedly trying to sneak orange juice bottles spiked with rubbing alcohol into a display case at a Starbucks in San Jose, California.
Behbehanian walked into Starbucks on the 6000 block of Snell Avenue about 3:45 p.m. and was seen by a customer removing two bottles of orange juice from a bag and then placing them on a shelf with other refrigerated items, police said.
The customer notified the store manager of what he saw, when Behbehanian fled. An employee followed Behbehanian to the parking lot and was able to take down her license plate number before she drove off.
Employees called 911 after noticing the bottles had a “toxic smell to them,” police said. San Jose firefighters who responded determined the bottles contained a “lethal quantity” mixture of orange juice and isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol, police said.
No one drank from the bottles, police report.
Officers tracked down Ramineh Behbehanian at her home, five miles away from the Starbucks around 8:30 p.m. She was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and felony poisoning, Sgt. Jason Dwyer said in a statement.
“We don’t know if she has done this before or if she had plans to do this again,” Dwyer said. “We have no reason to believe that there are other coffee shops with similar dangers.”
Police are still unsure why she would have done this since she has no criminal record in Santa Clara County. “We don’t know if she has done this before or if she had plans to do this again,” Dwyer said. “We have no reason to believe that there are other coffee shops with similar dangers.”
The Starbucks in San Jose was closed after the incident but reopened the following morning.
Starbucks spokesman Zack Hutson said Tuesday, “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.”
For safety, Hutson said they have pulled all the juices from the open-air refrigerator and destroyed them. They also alerted other Starbucks to check their juice bottle seals. All checked out to be fine.
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