Berkeley police arrest 6 in connection to laptop thefts in undercover sting

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Aren Saunders-Gonzalez/Staff

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After a rampant string of laptop thefts during January and February, Berkeley police officers went undercover at Caffe Strada and made six arrests Saturday night, as first reported by Berkeleyside.

Berkeley Police Department arrested six men suspected of stealing laptops from Caffe Strada while dressed in plainclothes, according to the article. While BPD was stationed at Caffe Strada, a black sedan with six people in it approached at about 7:45 p.m. Four people reportedly entered the cafe, and two of them allegedly grabbed two laptops and ran back to the car, which took off.

Police found the stolen laptops when other Berkeley officers stopped the black sedan on College Avenue, according to Berkeleyside’s article. BPD booked the suspects on suspicion of “strong-armed robbery, grand theft and possession of stolen property … A few were also charged with a probation violation,” according to the article.

Laptop thefts have become increasingly common in the past several months, with 16 laptop thefts reported in January alone. Most of the laptop thefts and robberies have occurred at cafes near the UC Berkeley campus, including Caffe Strada, Cafe Blue Door, Starbucks and 85C Bakery Cafe.

BPD could not be reached for comment.

Ani Vahradyan is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @anivahrad.