Home NEWS Police/Fire Laptop Thieves Nabbed In Undercover Operation At Berkeley Cafes Saturday

Laptop Thieves Nabbed In Undercover Operation At Berkeley Cafes Saturday

Computer gear recovered by police after a recent coffeehouse theft in Berkeley. Photo: Berkeley PD

Undercover officers positioned in Berkeley cafes after a string of brazen laptop thefts in coffee shops throughout the 24/680 and Bay area were able to effect the capture of six suspected thieves after a crew struck again in Berkeley Saturday evening.

According to information released by the Berkeley Police Department, undercover officers were positioned in cafes across town after the recent spike of thefts and robberies.

At 7:54 p.m. Saturday, officers positions at Café Strada observed four subjects get out of a car and walk inside. Seconds later, two of the men stole two laptops from customers at the cafe and the foursome ran back to the waiting getaway car. A victim chased after the suspects and attempted to recover his laptop while police officers directed responding officers to the area – providing a detailed description of the suspect vehicle.

Police stopped the getaway vehicle on College Avenue near Russell Street where they conducted a felony car stop, according to investigators.  Recovered from the getaway car were the two laptops which had just been take from Café Strada as well as additional stolen property unrelated to this evening’s event.

Three adults and three juveniles were arrested and booked for strong armed robbery, grand theft person, possession of stolen property, and probation violations (5 of the 6 were on some form of probation).

The Berkeley Police Department will not be releasing the names of the suspects at this time as the investigation remains ongoing. The department’s undercover efforts are slated to continue for the foreseeable future until a decreased in these crimes are noted.


  1. It’s sad that you can’t even sit at a coffee shop with your laptop, but it is the latest crime. It’s not worth it. I’m glad they were caught, and not surprised they’re on probation.

  2. Nice! I would have given a lot to have seen the arrest!! I work in Oakland and have heard police say that sometimes an entire family will engage in crime – from mom on down to the kids Hard to believe and hoping this isn’t so in this case.

  3. Are they thinking all of the recent thefts were done by this group? With six in the car they could have just sent two different pairs in for each robbery. Sounds pretty organized.

  4. Will someone explain to me why they keep stealing laptops when the technology can be tracked or turned off entirely after a theft?

  5. @Kris – petty thieves, in my opinion, aren’t generally smart enough to hold an honest job, which would expose them to working knowledge of said technology, amongst other things.

  6. So, 5 of the 6 were already on parole.
    What’s that tell you!
    Good work by the police department! But the way things are set up now the judicial system is just going to turn them loose right away and they will be active again.

  7. I think thieves are well aware that technology can be tracked or disabled. They sell it to people online or at the flea market that have no idea it’s been disabled. Like our neighbor in Moraga in the late 60s who sold a color TV (that didn’t work) at the flea market in Concord. I overheard him telling my dad.

    Thieves come into contact with technology on a daily basis. They’re stealing it while the rest of are us are working for a living.

    • @David – Well, you’re in our heads! Just posted that on our Facebook page. We guess these guys have a “deep bench.”

  8. I super-glued my left palm to my laptop some time ago. Smart right!? You wouldn’t believe how long it takes me to wash the dishes now.

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