A woman is calling for a popular coffee chain to install CCTV cameras after her phone was stolen.

Christine Michael was sitting in Starbucks in Green Lanes, Palmers Green at 1.30pm when a man begging for 50p approached her table.

When she firmly said she did not have the money, the well-dressed man – who was in his early 20s and carrying a newspaper - grabbed her iPhone 4s from the table under the cover of his newspaper and sped towards the exit.

She shouted at the man, who was of a slight build with dark hair, to stop and customers tried to catch him at the door, but he evaded capture.

The £400 phone belonged to Ms Michael's friend Maria Frappaolo, who was away from the table at the time.

Ms Frappaolo, 47, said: “This is the kind of place for people to come and have a coffee and use their laptops and their phones; you don’t expect them to not have any cameras.

“Why don’t they do something about getting cameras?”

She said food and drink prices were high, so customers should expect to be safe while sitting inside the coffee shop.

Starbucks staff called the police, who then took witness statements and are now investigating the theft.

Ms Frappaolo cancelled her phone contract straight away and hopes the police will be able to catch the culprit before he targets any other unsuspecting victims.

The Enfield Independent understands CCTV cameras are installed in the majority of the coffee giant's stores.

Ms Michael, who thanked staff for their help, said: “They can at least put some cameras in by the door after they have saved all that money from  not paying taxes.

“I had just sat down to catch up with my friend and I was getting pestered for money.

“You expect them to have cameras for the safety of their staff and customers.”

According to Starbucks, the last reported phone theft in the Palmers Green store was in February last year.

A statement said: "We continue to work closely with the police to help educate our customers on how to prevent theft of their belongings in our stores."