2 laptops stolen from customers at Berkeley cafes on same night

Allen Zeng/Staff

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Customers at two coffee shops in Elmwood had their laptops stolen within 30 minutes of each other Tuesday evening, as first reported by Berkeleyside.

At 7:30 p.m., three masked individuals stole a laptop from a 21-year-old woman seated at Sack’s Coffee House and then fled, according to an email from Berkeley Police Department spokesperson Officer Byron White. One of the suspects has been described as a male wearing a “black hooded top — with the drawstrings pulled so tight that the hood covered the suspect’s face.”

At 7:53 p.m., three suspects entered Espresso Roma, located about five blocks south of Sack’s Coffee House. According to White, one of the suspects stood by the door while the other two attempted to steal a laptop from a 19-year-old woman seated inside the cafe. Although the woman was able to hold onto her laptop, White said in an email that “in the struggle another customer was hit in the head by the laptop.” The 39-year-old woman who was hit in the head was not injured.

After their unsuccessful attempt to steal the laptop, the suspects took a laptop that had been left on a table nearby that belonged to a 71-year-old man and fled. According to White, the suspects were last seen heading west on Ashby Avenue.

According to White, the three suspects are a black male aged 18 to 25, 5 feet 7 inches to 6 feet tall, wearing a gray hooded top and a scarf over his face, a black male 18 to 22 years old, 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall and wearing a dark-colored hooded top and pants, and a black male aged 18 to 22 years old, between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall with unknown clothing.

Guillermo Reyes, an employee of Espresso Roma who was working at the time of the robbery, said that he heard customers attempting to stop the suspects, but by the time he went to see what happened, the suspects had already fled the store with the laptop.

White said in an email that to guard against thefts, people should travel in well-lit areas and consider keeping their electronic devices out of sight.

Contact Maya Akkaraju at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @maya_akkaraju ‏.