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A teenager from Vallejo who tried to steal a laptop from a customer at Blue Bottle Coffee in downtown Berkeley over the weekend was taken into custody after the driver of his getaway vehicle sped off and left him, authorities report.

Police have released video of the escape attempt and ask anyone who recognizes the vehicle, a black SUV, to alert BPD.

Sunday at 11:05 a.m., the 16-year-old boy and an older man went into Blue Bottle, at 2118 University Ave., and grabbed laptops from two customers in the shop, BPD said: “One of the customers tried to hold onto their laptop, but the suspect was able to pull it away.”

The pair fled from the store, but a good Samaritan followed one of them. When the 16-year-old saw that he had company, he dropped the stolen laptop, according to police.

When he got to Oxford and Addison streets, about two blocks away, a black SUV pulled up to the teen to let him inside, police said. But he wasn’t able to do it, and “fell out when the vehicle drove off.”

Police said the good Samaritan kept his eye on the teenager until police arrived. He was then arrested on suspicion of robbery.

Witnesses described the other robber as a black man in his early 20s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall with short hair, wearing a gray shirt.

Police ask anyone with information about this crime to call BPD’s Robbery Unit at 510-981-5742.

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...