Early Monday, a Starbucks customer witnessed Behbehanian replacing Starbucks-owned orange juice bottles with her own contaminated bottles she had stored in her purse, and reported it to an employee. The suspect may have overheard the exchange, because she fled the scene immediately. The Starbucks employee phoned the police and managed to record the license plate on the suspect’s vehicle. Behbehanian was arrested later that day after she was found to be the owner of the car leaving the scene.
The San Jose Fire Department arrived at the store following the initial call and examined the bottles, finding that the contents had a toxic smell to them. After testing with hazardous materials equipment, the bottles were found to contain a isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol.
Starbucks spokesperson Zach Hutson said that no one had consumed the tainted juice, and that all juice stocked was destroyed. Other stores in the area were asked to inspect their juice bottles’ safety seals to ensure that no one had tampered with them.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Behbehanian works in the research and development department of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of the Johnson & Johnson corporation. She has expertise in “drug delivery and release technologies.” Greg Panico, a spokesman for the subsidiary, confirmed that she was an employee of said department in Fremont, California, and has been since August 2006.
The LinkedIn profile also details a large educational history in chemistry. It states that she has a master’s degree in physical chemistry and chemical engineering from Lehigh University, which is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The university has not yet responded to requests to verify her educational career.
Behbehanian is currently being held at the Elmwood Complex Women’s Facility in Milpitas. No bail has been set, and her arraignment is scheduled for Thursday.