Neighbors Report Series Of Brazen Laptop Thefts From Local Cafes – Hoodline

A trio of tipsters have reported what appears to be a rash of laptop thefts from cafes in the area.

On July 15th, tipster Josh W. wrote in to express concern over crime in the Divisadero corridor. He noted that he’d heard about muggings, a garage and car break-in, and car windows smashed, and also mentioned that a laptop had been snatched from out of a window at Bean Bag Cafe. “The cafe owner (Mike) told me about it, including chasing down the thief and getting the laptop back,” he wrote.

While this may not seem that unusual, another laptop was stolen from out of a Divisadero cafe window shortly thereafter. On July 19th, tipster Andrew D. was working at Vinyl Cafe on Divisadero around 7pm. “There were maybe a dozen or so people at Vinyl, it was a nice day and the windows were open,” he said. “I heard a girl screaming and saw a guy on the sidewalk reaching in through the window and grabbing her laptop. The barista jumped over the bar and ran outside, as did another guy, and tried to chase the man, but he got into a black car and sped away.”

Today, yet another tipster wrote in to report that the laptop thefts have hit Duboce Triangle as well. Lower Haight resident Bea W. sent us the following report this morning:

“Yesterday, my computer and that of another woman were snatched at Duboce Park Café. I was sitting at a table outside typing when a stranger approached me—when I was looking up, he quickly took the computer and ran away. It only took a few seconds and there was huge chaos, because at the same time, another stranger (they were both guys, barely 20, hip-hop clothing on) had approached a woman who was sitting at another table, snatching her laptop as well. They were coming from different directions and ran off together (up to the hospital), they were too fast to be caught. 

“It was a concerted action and it was quite shocking, not only because I have to buy a new laptop now, but because I would have never expected to be robbed outside a café in this neighborhood. Duboce Park Café is such a peaceful place, and the community in the Triangle is genuinely nice and awesome. The policewomen told us snatching happens more and more, and that it is also going up in this area, so you might want to check back with them.

“Hoodline readers also should watch out when working in cafés. I guess it isn’t possible to work outside any more, except [if] you chain your computer to your waist. And this is a very depressing development.”

As the warm summer days and evenings continue, you may want to take Bea’s advice and stay extra vigilant if you’re working on your laptop near a window or outdoors. If you’ve had your laptop stolen or witnessed a theft at a local cafe, let us know in the comments.

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