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Death for $5 in Stolen Tips

CLAYTON, Mo. (CN) - A father says his good-Samaritan son was run over and killed because Starbucks failed to protect its tip jar. The driver-tip thief was sentenced to a year in jail.

Roger Kreutz was killed on March 5, 2008, while trying to stop Aaron Poisson, who had stolen the tip jar from a suburban St. Louis Starbucks.

"Poisson struck him with his automobile while fleeing the scene," according to the complaint against Starbucks in St. Louis County Court.

Poisson, of Cumming, Ga., who was 19 at the time, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 1 year in jail. He is not named as a defendant.

"Defendant Starbucks invited the act of perpetration of said crime at their premises by facilitating a policy of leaving cash within the plain view and easy reach of patrons, and as a direct and proximate result thereof the decedent was killed after Poisson struck him with his automobile while fleeing the scene," according to the complaint.

Kreutz's father, Edward, says Starbucks had no security workers on hand to stop Poisson, so Roger, who was waiting in line, tried to stop him, "in the interest of defendant Starbucks."

The Kreutz family seeks damages for wrongful death and negligence. They are represented by William Green.

There was less than $5 in the tip jar.

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