Woman suspected of tainting OJ at Starbucks said to be trained chemist


A woman arrested after she allegedly tried to sneak tainted bottles of orange juice into a refrigerator at a Starbucks coffee shop in San Jose was a trained chemist, officials said.

A customer reported seeing the woman remove two bottles of orange juice from her purse and place them in a refrigerated display case at the store, the Mercury News reported.

When the customer alerted store staff the woman fled.

After examining the bottles and detecting what they described as a “toxic smell,” store employees called 911.


Police tracked 50-year-old Ramineh Behbehanian to her home about five miles away after a witness provided her license plate number. She was arrested on suspicion of felony poisoning.

Tests revealed she had mixed rubbing alcohol with the juice, police said. Investigators said they did not have a motive.

Authorities told the San Francisco Chronicle that she used a “lethal quantity” of the rubbing alcohol. The paper also reported she held graduate degrees in chemistry from Lehigh University.


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