Racine Starbucks manager accused of stealing more than $37K from the coffeehouse chain

Carlin Cook

RACINE COUNTY -- A Starbucks manager is accused of stealing more than $37,000 from the coffeehouse chain.

It happened at the Starbucks store located on South Green Bay Road and Durand Avenue in Racine.

According to a criminal complaint, a manager reported five missing deposits from the month of April. A regional asset protection manager took over the investigation and discovered a total of 25 missing deposits between March 2nd and May 16th -- totaling a loss of $37,896.24 to Starbucks.

It was later determined 29-year-old Carlin Cook of Kenosha, was a possible suspect. Officials say Cook was working on each of the days deposits went missing or would have access to the deposit safe. Cook was the store manager on 11 of the 18 days where deposits were not picked up due to "various excuses."

The complaint states surveillance video also appeared to show Cook taking a deposit bag.

Upon questioning, investigators say Cook admitted she took at least five deposits from the store, but did not know exactly how many -- or how much money -- she took. However, she did tell officials she "thought $37,896.24 was a lot of money."

Cook told investigators she would put the deposit into one of the safes at the Starbucks, and then take the deposit to the back room and place the entire bag into her purse. She'd later throw the bags out at her apartment, "so her boyfriend would not discover what she was doing."

The complaint says Cook told investigators she took the money because she was having financial difficulties; she stated she owed over $80,000 after graduating from Carthage College and has about $5,000 in credit card debt.

Cook has been charged with one count of theft from a business setting totaling more than $10,000. She faces a $25,000 fine and up to ten years in prison.

Cook has a scheduled court appearance on December 6th.