A man accused of robbing as many as seven coffee shops at gunpoint — including some Peet’s and Starbucks stores — was arrested after the quick thinking of a downtown barista.
A man wearing sunglasses and a hoodie entered the Peet’s on Third and Mission streets Sunday afternoon and pointed a gun wrapped in plastic at the chest of an employee while demanding cash, police said.
After handing the gunman some cash, the barista ran after him and noted the license plate number of his getaway car.
Within hours of informing the police of the robbery, and providing the license plate number and a detailed description of the gun-wielding robber to San Francisco police officers, Jacob Schildgen was arrested at a nearby residential hotel.
"If the employee didn’t do that, we probably wouldn’t have caught anyone," said San Francisco Police Officer Craig Dong, who thanked the employee with two other officers at Peet’s on Monday.
The employee, who asked to remain anonymous, said he positively identified Schildgen during a lineup Monday. The employee said it was the second time he has been robbed at gunpoint.
Police said Schildgen, 42, is suspected in two other robberies at the Third and Mission Peet’s — on March 8 and Feb. 22.
Starbucks coffee shops were victims of two other carbon-copy crimes within the past week, according to a prepared statement, but the company did not give any further details.
Police say Schildgen is a suspect in three other robberies — including two on March 12 that occurred within a half-hour of each other — and an attempted robbery. He is also being eyed as the suspect in a March 11 holdup of a coffee shop on Divisadero Street.
In each robbery, police say employees were threatened with use of a gun.
Peet’s Coffee responded with a prepared statement.
"Nothing is more important to Peet’s Coffee & Tea than the safety and security of our customers and our own employees in our stores," the statement said. "We have clear protocols that are designed to keep everyone as safe and comfortable as possible in a wide range of situations. We are cooperating with the San Francisco Police Department in their investigation."