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2 people were arrested on suspicion of stealing a Stanley Starbucks cup from Target in January

Grace Dean,Dominick Reuter   

2 people were arrested on suspicion of stealing a Stanley Starbucks cup from Target in January
  • Two people were arrested this week on suspicion of stealing a Stanley cup from a Target in January.
  • The limited-edition Winter Pink Quencher, a collaboration with Starbucks, caused a huge online buzz.

Two people were arrested Tuesday and charged in connection with the January theft of a Starbucks Stanley cup from a Target store in Cupertino, California.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that on January 3, the day the limited-edition Winter Pink Quencher was released, witnesses reported that a man and a woman in their mid-20s cut the line of customers waiting to buy the cups and entered the store.

After staff were informed that the man and woman had cut the line, they were not allowed to buy a cup, the sheriff's office said.

"The male suspect jumped over the counter of the internal Starbucks, knocking a barista out of the way," the statement said. "The male suspect grabbed a box behind the counter that contained the limited-edition Stanley cup and attempted to leave the store."

The sheriff's office said a customer blocked the store's exit and "tackled" the man to the ground when he tried to leave. The woman then punched the customer, giving the male suspect time to get up.

The woman also tried to take a Starbucks bag, believed to have contained another Stanley cup, from another customer, the statement said.

Both suspects left the store before deputies arrived.

Kevin Torres-Cruz and Hazel Dominguez-Vera were arrested on Tuesday and charged with robbery in the case, the sheriff's office said.

The Stanley x Starbucks Winter Pink Quencher was only available from Starbucks cafés in Target stores, and shoppers lined up outside stores for hours ahead of opening, hoping to grab one before they sold out.

Some Target workers who bought the cups were unexpectedly fired for violating company rules around employee purchases of "high-demand" merchandise.

Previous launches have caused similar chaos: A "Galentine's Day" cup available exclusively at Target sold out almost immediately in January, and in 2023 a limited-edition red Quencher released in collaboration with Starbucks traded for many times its retail price on the resale market.

Collectors are also hotly anticipating the impending launch of the Spring Blue Quencher from Stanley and Starbucks, which will be sold at Starbucks locations in Target stores.

Current and former Target workers told Business Insider the company is circulating its employee-purchase policies, known colloquially as "the 15-minute rule."

Other employee group chats seen, but not verified, by BI indicate that the stores are taking more proactive inventory-control measures, including launch-day planning with store asset-protection teams.

Stanley has capitalized on its must-have status by collaborating with companies such as Starbucks to release a range of limited-edition cups in different colors, creating a collector culture around the items.

The 111-year-old company recently rebranded itself from a maker of sturdy bottles to an "it" status symbol among suburban moms and middle schoolers.

If you work for Target and would like to share your perspective, contact Dominick Reuter via email or text/call/Signal at 646-768-4750. Responses will be kept confidential, and Business Insider strongly recommends using a personal email and a non-work device when reaching out.

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