Another laptop grab in Berkeley; charges filed in weekend robbery case

Berkeley police inspect a Dodge Charger with Nevada license plates, on College Avenue, near Russell Street, after arresting its occupants in connection with a robbery, in Berkeley, on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. Photo: David Yee

Police have announced the latest in a string of laptop snatches from patrons at cafes in the Southside neighborhood near UC Berkeley.

In the most recent incident, three males went into a cafe Wednesday at about 3:30 p.m. in the 2800 block of Telegraph Avenue, near Stuart Street, police said in a prepared statement Thursday. They grabbed a laptop from a woman sitting on a couch near the front door, then fled to a getaway car on Stuart Street nearby.

No age or description of the trio or getaway car was provided by police. Authorities ask anyone with information about the crime to call BPD at 510-981-5742.

Also in Thursday’s statement, BPD reported that three men had been charged with robbery Wednesday, by the Alameda County district attorney’s office, for the laptop robbery over the weekend at Caffe Strada, right by campus. Police identified those men Thursday as Dajon Daniel, 19, and Kingikirah Stevenson, 23, both of Oakland, and Ray Moore, 19, of Antioch. (Their names were not previously released.)

Three juveniles, ages 16 and 17, all from Oakland, remain in custody at Juvenile Hall in San Leandro. They face charges including robbery, grand theft and probation violation.

Berkeley police detain suspects, on College Avenue, near Russell Street, in connection with a robbery, in Berkeley, on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. Photo: David Yee

Stevenson also was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, vehicle theft and a felony probation violation. He is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Wednesday at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland, and is being held at Santa Rita Jail without bail, according to online jail records from Alameda County.

Daniel is being held on $100,000 bail at Santa Rita, and is scheduled for a bail hearing Monday. Moore is being held at Santa Rita with a bail of $105,000. His next hearing was not listed.

In its prepared statement Thursday, BPD released two video clips from a robbery Aug. 25, 2017, “to educate the community as to how quickly these crimes can occur.” In that incident, a man was taken to Highland Hospital with serious injuries after trying to stop robbers in downtown Berkeley from taking his laptop. As the suspects attempted to flee in a stolen vehicle, the man tried to hold onto the car to prevent the robbery.

Police offered several crime prevention tips to those who plan to use electronic devices in public:

  • Be aware of surroundings
  • Do not leave valuables unattended
  • Consider using a locking device to secure property to the table
  • Back up work to an external hard drive (separate from the computer) or to the cloud
  • Purchase tracking software to locate a device if it is stolen (remember to activate it)
  • Make note of serial numbers for laptops, phones and other items
  • If you see something suspicious, call 911