In Wake of Abduction, Local Baristas Exercise Extra Caution
Koenig's kidnapping has coffee stand workers on alert
ANCHORAGE - The usual chitchat at coffee stands has taken a somber turn in light of Samantha Koenig's kidnapping.
Coffee lovers are reminded of the incident every time they drive up for their daily caffeine fix; almost every stand around town has flyers up in their windows with information about Koenig’s abduction.
At the Kodiak Kup, near 36th and Arctic, baristas say there are surveillance cameras capturing video and audio and all of the girls are now coming to work with a little something extra.
“Pepper spray, and we just try to check as much as we can. We lock the doors. We check on each other a lot. I have girls come in here all the time,” said barista Jordan Cummings.
Her co-worker Sari Phillips said, “I know a lot of girls are scared that work in coffee shops. My family got me pepper spray. I know a lot of girls’ families are doing that.”
There's also a door with bars on the back of the shop and employees say owners are doing what they can to make sure the inside and outside of the stand are well protected.
“Up until this happened a lot of us felt safe. Lighting is really important, we've been trying to light the sides really well,” said Cummings.
Baristas at Qwik Cup Espresso near International and C Street are watched by six cameras with audio that their boss can see instantly on her phone, and they keep a can of bear mace by each window.
They say they're fortunate to have a good group of customers looking out for them and hope getting the word out about Samantha will bring her back home safely.
“This shouldn't happen, especially in our small little town at the coffee shop around the corner, that's really scary,” said Qwik Cup barista Christina Johnson.
Anchorage Police Detectives investigating the kidnapping say the best thing baristas can do if a person tries to rob a coffee stand is to give the person the money and do whatever they can to stay inside the building.