Walnut Creek Police Warn of Laptop Theft from Local Coffee Shops

December 7, 2017 10:00 am · 33 comments

Walnut Creek Police are warning the public about the ongoing theft of laptops from customers at local coffee shops.

Here’s the information, direct from the WCPD:

A crime trend occurring throughout the Bay Area is for criminals to approach an individual using their laptop at a coffee establishment and without warning, snatch the laptop from the unsuspecting victim, and then fleeing to a gateway car parked nearby.

Be aware of your surroundings if you are using your laptop in public-especially a coffee shop or restaurant. If you are sitting at tables outside, or are inside the establishment near the entrance/exit – be cautious of having your laptop out where it could easily be grabbed. If the work on your laptop can wait, save it until you are in a more secure and private setting.

Your safety is paramount, please do not chase after suspects in this type of incident. Call the police immediately and do your best in memorizing the suspect description, direction of travel, or car description, including the license plate if possible (even a partial plate is helpful).

Ricardoh December 7, 2017 at 10:23 AM

This will not stop until people walk around packing heat. Why go on taking abuse from thieves. Thieves are worthless beings and deserve nothing.
At least carry pepper spray or a can of spray paint.
If you go to coffee shops with your computer maybe you should mount a security strap from computer to wrist. Do the left wrist so when the thief grabs the computer your right is free to swing for the jaw.

Really ??? December 7, 2017 at 12:01 PM


MagBe December 7, 2017 at 4:36 PM

Unless you’re left-handed 😉

JazzMan December 7, 2017 at 6:27 PM

So, thief grabs your laptop and is at least 10 ft away (maybe more) before you pull your weapon out. You’re going to start shooting from that distance in a possibly crowded coffee shop? Right! Unless you’re holding it in one hand, while you type with the other? That, in itself will raise questions and you’ll be on your way to the pokey.

Concordejet December 7, 2017 at 10:30 AM

This could happen in Concord and PH. I believe the whole CCC should warm laptop users to keep close to their laptop.

Not just coffee shops but at colleges Library. My friend got his apple macbook stolen at the library at UCDavis only because he went to the restroom. There homeless around that area he said.

Silva December 7, 2017 at 10:50 AM

I knew a man, a musician poet songwriter, who died after a thief stole his laptop this way, and he was dragged under the getaway car when he tried to save his work.😞

foothillsguy December 7, 2017 at 6:24 PM

Yes, I read about that poor guy awhile ago. It was his life in a hard drive.

Brig December 7, 2017 at 10:54 AM

It’s pretentious anyhow. Stay home or go to work. Oh look at me..lol pathetic.

Kentucky Derby December 7, 2017 at 11:00 AM

A security strap is an excellent idea (for others). For me – no laptop at the coffee shop. Electronics at home and work only. It’s not worth it – I never display electronics in public.

I have a take myself out of the equation mindset, and it doesn’t bother me at all to be cautious. I enjoy it.

Chicken Little December 7, 2017 at 11:53 AM

I take it a step further and don’t waste my time and money at overpriced coffee shops.

mohairs December 7, 2017 at 3:54 PM

And I take it a step even further. No electronics… just a slab of stone and a chisel. 🙂

Dorothy December 7, 2017 at 11:01 AM

This kind of theft is everywhere and been in the news off and on for years. Even the coffee shops sometimes post notices about it.

Abbie R. December 7, 2017 at 11:24 AM

Lap tops are expensive, but I would not give My Left Arm for one!

TIFOKCIS December 7, 2017 at 11:25 AM

DO NOT PROFILE you might hurt someone’s sensitivities.

Really ??? December 7, 2017 at 12:04 PM


Peeter December 7, 2017 at 11:41 AM

When you a see thug roll into a coffee shop, they aren’t there for the lattes and avocado toast, they’re coming for that macbook

anontwo December 7, 2017 at 11:42 AM

Brig, I agree with you.

The Watch December 7, 2017 at 11:44 AM

Saw it happen first hand. I can’t understand how the crooks get out of the coffee shop though???

Just a Person December 7, 2017 at 11:48 AM

Sick of the theft, @Brig, nope does not make sense now! Maybe if we carried the thieves would think twice!

Chicken Little December 7, 2017 at 11:52 AM

I can tell you one thing that would happen. People would stop stealing laptops.

WC resident December 7, 2017 at 11:55 AM

If there were 2 million deaths annually from random gunfire in coffee shops then I suspect people would be more cautious about displaying bling.

At present people have no problem walking on sidewalks or standing in line somewhere while staring intently at $1000 in cash displayed in plain sight in their hands.

Jeffrey Elfont December 7, 2017 at 12:17 PM

It is unlawful to take an individuals life just to protect property….if you are in fear for your life or that of others, it is justifiable homicide…….108RS

PO'd December 7, 2017 at 12:35 PM

It’s the $950 law, silly. This is what you get.
The Watch – Who is going to stop them?

Anon-2-U December 7, 2017 at 12:39 PM

We were at a WC Downtown coffee shop last weekend. We had to wait for our drinks, and at the entrance to the coffee shop (far away from the register) there was an open laptop, plugged in to the wall, and the owner was nowhere to be seen. My first thought was to be careful so I wouldn’t trip on the cord, the other was how stupid of the owner to leave their laptop open, online and not passcode protected…

Me Say December 7, 2017 at 11:38 PM

Brilliant decoy move by WCPD

Back in the day... December 7, 2017 at 12:43 PM

Back in the day we did not have this problem because we didn’t have cell phones and laptops. It was a lot simpler time. You could even carry on a conversation with the person sitting next to you… That don’t happen anymore.

Lirk_Patrick December 7, 2017 at 12:45 PM

These thieves have stolen my heart

Gosryda55 December 7, 2017 at 3:40 PM

Hold on. Many people like myself are mobile workers. We don’t have nor do we need an office. My work requires me to stop at places and whip out the laptop. Some people are working and eating on the run. People are not necessarily being pretentious. The basic fact is people shouldn’t be stealing. Now walking away from your laptop is dumb, I agree with that. Also, having actually fired a gun at a person in self defense, I would argue most people don’t have the courage to fire on someone. If you pull that weapon, you’d better intend to use it. Stealing sucks and getting stolen from sucks but killing someone over a laptop is more dumb.

Mel December 8, 2017 at 12:17 PM

But if more people were killed over stealing, perhaps we would not have such a rampant and severe problem. People only respond to consequences, and we currently have none.

Mrs T December 7, 2017 at 7:08 PM

Band together coffee drinkers and throw your hot coffee at them!

rich December 7, 2017 at 8:13 PM

Laptop stolen tonight from Starbucks in Concord, CHP helps CPD arrest perps near Bailey and Clayton rd. Over 100 people listening on the IPHONE scanner app. good job CPD.

Anon December 8, 2017 at 10:34 AM

Just use common sense. I would never use a laptop like that in a public place. I do have an iPhone (a very old iPhone 4) that I sometimes use while traveling. I hope it’s so old that no one would steal it…also, don’t use public WiFi for things like online banking, etc.

You Can't Fix Stupid December 8, 2017 at 11:51 AM

Why doesn’t law enforcement use some bait computers in cars or at coffee shops? Put a GPS tracker inside them and we’d start getting more of these creeps caught. Just make sure the laptop is worth more than $950.

I’d also like some bait cars at the Willows Shopping Center and anywhere near Sunvalley or Diamond Blvd. I suspect all these crimes are being committed by a relatively small section of society. Time to round them up and exterminate, or at least get them locked up with scum of their own kind.

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