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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Andrew Frankel, Sgt/PIO, (510) 981-5780

LAPTOPS TAKEN DURING EVENING SNATCH AND GRAB

Berkeley, California (Thursday, February 01, 2018) -   On January 31, 2018 at approximately 8:30pm, three suspects were seen casing the outdoor eating area of a business on the 2300 block of College Avenue.  The suspects approached their victims, grabbed their laptop computers and fled southbound on College Avenue.  The suspects fled the scene in an older model 4 door sedan. No one was injured during the robbery/thefts.

The suspects were described by the victims as:

  • Suspect 1: Black male adult, 20-23, 6-0, thin build, dark clothing
  • Suspect 2: Black male adult, 20-23, 6-0, thin build, dark clothing
  • Suspect 3: Black male (no further descript)
  • Suspect 4: Getaway driver (no descript) 

Anyone with information regarding these crimes is asked to call the Berkeley Police Robbery Detail at (510) 981-5742.

Last night's incident has become an all too frequent occurrence.  We recognize it's not just a Berkeley problem as our neighbors are experiencing the same crimes.  Several of the suspects we interviewed who were arrested for committing crimes like the one described above, said they specifically targeted patrons who weren't paying attention to their surroundings.  This fact is corroborated by our review of surveillance video taken from inside the restaurants and cafés where these crimes have been occurring. 

We encourage our community members to consider the following when working on their electronic devices while out in public:

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Do not leave your valuables unattended (especially electronic devices)
  • Consider using a locking to secure your device to secure your device to the table
  • Back up  your work to either an external hard drive (not kept with the computer) or to the cloud
  • Purchase tracking software so that you can be reunited with your device if it becomes stolen
  • If tracking software came with your device, remember to activate it and safeguard your logon and password
  • If you see something suspicious, say something immediately (call 9-1-1)

With your help we can reduce the number of these events from occurring in our community. 

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