A recent string of break-ins is giving new meaning to the phrase, “espresso to go.”
Four coffee businesses have been broken into since late last month, Spokane police said Wednesday. Nearly $15,000 worth of equipment was taken.
The rash of coffee capers began Jan. 27 when someone broke into Full Moon Espresso, 4933 E. Trent, and made off with about $8,000 worth of steamers and grinders.
Three days later, a woman who works at the Latte Express, 429 E. Second, arrived at work about 4 a.m. and discovered a man inside the business.
The burglar threatened her and ordered her to lie on the floor, police said. She began screaming instead, and the man ran away.
Nothing was taken, but a small refrigerator had been moved as if the man intended to steal it, police said.
That same morning, someone pried open the front door of an office and storage building owned by Jitterz Java, 2135 W. Northwest Blvd. Nothing was stolen in that break-in.
The latest burglary occurred Feb. 5 at Southeast Java, 1328 S. Southeast Blvd.
Someone smashed open the front door and made off with all the espresso equipment, plus a phone and microwave oven. The owner estimated losses at $7,000.
Police said they aren’t sure if the thief is selling the equipment or planning to open his own latte stand.
Investigators are looking for the man seen inside the Latte Express. The witness said he was black, in his mid-20s, about 6 feet tall and bald with a mustache.
Detectives also want to talk to a man seen at Full Moon Espresso a few hours after the burglary there.
Employees said a white man in his 30s drove up to the business and asked if the place had been burglarized. He also wanted to know how they had set it back up so quickly, police said.
That man weighed about 190 pounds, had brown hair and a tattoo on the web of his left hand. Police did not describe his car.
Anyone with information on the burglaries is asked to call Crime Check at 456-2233.
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