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Tainted OJ placed in Starbucks was 'lethal,' San Jose police say

May 01, 2013|By Los Angeles Times Staff

San Jose police said a woman arrested after she allegedly tried to sneak tainted bottles of orange juice into a refrigerator at a Starbucks had placed a "lethal quantity" of rubbing alcohol in the bottles.

A customer noticed what the woman was doing and alerted employees.

"If it weren't for the actions of that customer, I believe we'd be talking about a homicide right now," said Sgt. Jason Dwyer, a police spokesman, told the San Jose Mercury News.

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.

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 Behbehanian 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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