SPOKANE, Wash. – Jitterz Java on Northwest Boulevard has now been hit three times this year, with the most recent attempted robbery occurring Sunday evening. The owner thinks part of the reason the coffee shop keeps getting robbed is because at night there is only one person working and it is usually a woman.
Each time it is robbed, it is always at the window that is less visible from the street.
While the past two times the robber has stolen cash, this time he was unsuccessful thanks to some new security measures the owner installed.
"He walks up to the window, tries to slam it open, and once he sees that it's not going to open, he sticks his face in between the crack and says, ‘knock knock,'" said Sara Chapel, the owner of Jitterz Java.
Thanks to new window locks, that is all the robber was able to do this time.
"At that point she sees him and notices there might be something in his left hand like a firearm," Chapel said. "She, no hesitation, grabs her gun, her cell phone, ducks down, backs to the back door, and calls police."
The man ran away empty handed before police arrived, but the ongoing problem at the coffee stand has employees doing whatever they can to feel safe at work.
"Most of the girls bring weapons to work now, bear mace, tasers, firearms," Chapel says.
Armed baristas is something they never thought would be on the menu.
"Five years ago I never thought that we would be an armed coffee stand, but I think it's something more coffee stands need to ban with us on and say, hey we're going to stop this from being a target," Chapel said.
Along with bringing guns to work, the coffee stand is taking other measures like installing windows that lock automatically when they close, keeping only about $40 in the register, and even protective glass.
"It's a Kevlar carbon fiber type mix window tint that you put on your windows and it stops up to a 45 caliber bullet," Chapel said. "That's another option we're considering at this time."
No one has been arrested for the past two robberies, so they think it might be the same person.
"A lot of his features look the same," Chapel said.
So if the robber is watching, they have a warning for him.
"If it is the same guy, he should probably not do this too many more times because we're getting smarter about catching him each time," Chapel said.
If you have any information about the robberies, call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.