Transient Arrested for Battery of Priscilla’s Coffee Shop Employee, Theft of Merchandise

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Burbank’s Toluca Lake area has not been accustomed to street crime in its quiet neighborhood in the past. So the recent business theft and misdemeanor battery against an employee at Priscilla’s Coffee Shop, where well-known TV and film industry people can often be seen sitting in front of outdoor sidewalk tables, seemed jarring and very much out of the ordinary.

When interviewed briefly, a busy Priscilla’s cashier serving a line of Sat. afternoon customers seemed visibly unnerved at what she quietly described briefly about what had occurred in her normally serene and friendly workplace.

Sgt. Stephen Turner, who serves the Burbank Police Dept. both in the field and as its Public Information Officer, confirmed to myBurbank the subsequent “arrest of Joseph Calabrase, 19, a transient, on charges of misdemeanor battery, petty theft, drugs and paraphernalia”.

St. Turner reported that “on March 14, 2024, at about 7:40 p.m., Mr. Calabrase entered Priscilla’s Coffee (4150 W. Riverside Drive) and walked towards a backroom of the store, where supplies are kept.  An employee confronted Mr. Calabrase and asked him to leave.  As Mr. Calabrase left the store, he made inappropriate statements to the employee.  At one point, Mr. Calabrase stepped on the foot of the employee in an attempt to trip the employee”. 

Sgt. Tuner further reported that “Mr. Calabrase was located by responding officers a short distance away.  Mr. Calabrase was positively identified by the victim and placed under private person’s arrest for the battery.  A search of Mr. Calabrase revealed unpaid Priscilla’s merchandise, drugs, and paraphernalia in his possession.  He was then transported to the Burbank jail where he was booked for the misdemeanor charges. 

Formal charges are pending review by the Burbank City Attorney’s Office”. 

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