Christie Smith

Alameda Police Warn of Thieves Targeting Laptops at Coffee Shops

Nearly a dozen laptop thefts have been reported in recent months, police say.

Alameda police are searching for ways to stop laptop thefts from happening after nearly a dozen laptop thefts at coffee shops have been reported in the last few months. 

The most recent theft occurred at local Peet’s coffee shop in Alameda where Mehrdad, a software engineer, was working on it with a friend. Mehrdad, says he noticed someone walking around him after a group of ten people came into the coffee shop and before he knew it, that person grabbed his laptop and ran away.

“We knew something was about to happen, but we were not prepared for this,” said Mehrdad. “I’ve never seen such a thing.”

According to officials, there have been eleven similar incidents at various coffee shops since mid-July, each with different suspect descriptions. Since these laptop thefts have occurred, only one arrest has been made.

Police are hoping to educate the public on the rise in laptop thefts by distributing fliers and have also posted surveillance video from a theft in September. In the video, two suspects, believed to be 18-20 attempt to take a laptop from a customer at a Starbucks on Blanding Avenue. Later the suspects are seen at another Starbucks on Park Street snatching laptops again. 

Officials are recommending people not to go after the thief, but rather keeping devices password protected and install tracking software. 

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