Detention after Starbucks laptop grab. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Three 15-year-old boys from Oakland were arrested early Wednesday evening after police say they snatched a laptop from a customer working inside a Starbucks in downtown Berkeley.

The man was on his computer at the Starbucks at 2128 Oxford St., at Center Street, when three or four young men walked inside at about 4:50 p.m. One of them grabbed the man’s computer and ran west on Center toward Shattuck Avenue, according to authorities.

Berkeley Police Sgt. Katherine Smith said the victim and witnesses called police immediately.

Officers who were already downtown on Shattuck Avenue for a different matter, who heard the call but did not see the young men nearby, realized they might have gone into the downtown Berkeley BART station. Police said the victim also chased them and saw them go into the station.

Officers who went inside and down to the main platform found three teens who matched the description and later were identified as the ones who stole the laptop. Police found the laptop in a backpack that belonged to one of the teenagers, said Smith.

All three juveniles were arrested on suspicion of grand theft and taken to Alameda County Juvenile Hall in San Leandro.

Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...