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.