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Stanley cups were stuffed in a suspect thief's trunk. (Roseville Police Department)

California woman steals 65 Stanley cups

January 28, 2024

By Jordan Valinsky, CNN

New York (CNN) — Police responding to a retail theft call in a California city discovered what is likely the most 2024 thing ever: a Sacramento woman allegedly stole about five dozen Stanley cups valued at a whopping $2,500.

Last Wednesday, Roseville Police officers responded to a report of a theft at a retail store where staff “saw a woman take a shopping cart full of Stanley water bottles without paying for them,” and refused to stop for staff, police said on Facebook.

An officer saw the unidentified 23-year-old woman’s vehicle travel on a nearby highway, pulled her over and arrested her for grand theft. After a search of the car, the police recovered 65 Stanley cups.

The inexplicable allure of Stanley cups has led people to go to extreme lengths to collect them. Recently at Target, its special edition Valentine’s Day cups quickly sold out, and the cups appeared on the resale market for hundreds of dollars above sticker prices that range from $20 to $50 depending on size.

“While Stanley Quenchers are all the rage, we strongly advise against turning to crime to fulfill your hydration habits,” the police said on Facebook. “The Roseville Police Department remains committed to stopping retail theft.”

Stanley’s rise

The 111-year-old Stanley brand is enjoying a massive resurgence of sorts with a much younger clientele of tweens, teens and young adults.

Invented by William Stanley, Jr., in 1913, the all-steel vacuum-insulated bottle was originally invented for keeping food and beverages hot or cold, and has since become a popular go-to camping and hiking accessory.

In 2020, Stanley’s global president Terence Reilly revamped the brand and specifically chose women as a potential new consumer base. Then, with a new palette of colors and designs, the company relied on trusted influencers on social media to get the word out.

The strategy worked: Stanley’s 40-ounce Quencher cup gained rabid popularity for its candy-like array of colors and its ability to keep beverages hot and cold for long periods of time.

Once the cups took off on social media, Stanley’s annual sales reportedly jumped from $75 million to $750 million in 2023 alone.

CNN’s AJ Willingham contributed to this report.

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