A Vancouver, Wash., coffeeshop finally called the cops: This is a frightening trend (of one story) where a cafe was pushed to the brink. As KATU in Portland reports, a 20-year-old man spent three months using Brewed Awakenings's free Wi-Fi service from their parking lot for hours at a time. It doesn't say that the staff asked him to stop; rather it says, "deputies told [the guy] to knock it off." Police charged him with theft of services when he returned. It's unclear whether that charge will stick. I'd think trespassing (the parking lot is likely private) or harassment is more likely. Oh, and the guy is a Level One Sex Offender, which makes the story prurient.
This is a tricky one because the cafe certainly could have chosen to take measures that would have either required a purchase or required someone to enter the store at the very least and get a code. They didn't, so this guy ruined their idyllic situation.
As I wrote about more than a year ago when I covered a few scattered cafes and restaurants that turn off Wi-Fi at different points of the day or week, freeloaders can ruin it for everyone else, and it's particularly galling to owners of small establishments trying to make a living. [link via TechDirt]