Laptops a hot item in Mission district

The Mission district was struck by a series of laptop thefts in recent weeks, including a brazen robbery in which three suspects stormed into a cafe and grabbed a woman’s computer directly from her hands.

At least seven laptops were stolen in the area from Aug. 7-17, according to a report released by the Mission Police Station. The thefts ranged from strong-arm robberies to criminal opportunism, notably in the case of the cafe robbery, which occurred Aug. 14 at Cafe Petra on Guerrero Street.

A woman was sitting in the cafe about 9 p.m. when she noticed three men staring at her from the street outside, police said. Minutes later, the men stormed inside the cafe and bolted with her laptop, running northbound on Guerrero Street and out of sight.

The Cafe Petra burglary followed a series of thefts in the Mission.

Lt. William Canning of the SFPD’s Robbery Division said he didn’t have exact numbers on laptop thefts in The City — they’re combined with other electronics cases — but he did add that the crimes are “not uncommon.”

“You have people on their computers in these cafes and they’re oblivious to their surroundings,” he said. “Guys come up and snag them before the victims even know what hit them.”

Canning said the ease with which laptops can be sold illegally is appealing to criminals interested in making fast cash.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

Just Posted

BART: busking ban on trains may be legal despite opposition, free speech concerns

When BART board director Debora Allen first floated her proposal to ban… Continue reading

Report: Affordable housing fee hike could discourage new office development

Amended proposal for increase heads toward full board vote

Conservative mayoral candidate defends controversial billboard: ‘this is beautiful art’

Local elected officials denounce depiction of Mayor London Breed as ‘racist’

PG&E warns another round of power shutoffs possible starting Wednesday evening

PG&E Monday afternoon gave a 48-hour notice to approximately 209,000 customers in… Continue reading

SF police union dumps $50K into committee against DA candidate

San Francisco’s police union is preparing to spend big money to defeat… Continue reading

Most Read