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California

2 arrested after Starbucks customer who chased alleged laptop thief in Oakland dies

Oakland Police Department
A file photo of an Oakland police car.
(Anda Chu / San Jose Mercury News)

California authorities have arrested two people suspected of stealing a laptop computer from a Starbucks customer who later died. The suspects were not immediately identified and specific charges were not disclosed.

Authorities said the customer died after he chased down a suspect who stole his laptop at a Starbucks in an east Oakland neighborhood.

The man, believed to be in his 20s or 30s, died of head injuries after being taken by ambulance to a hospital, authorities said. His identity has not been released.

The customer was working on his computer Tuesday morning when a suspect snatched the device and ran. The suspect then drove off in a nearby vehicle, authorities said.

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It was unclear whether there was a driver waiting in the vehicle, authorities said.

Before the car drove off, witnesses said the customer grabbed a door handle, causing him to slam his head into a parked car when the vehicle accelerated away. Authorities did not immediately confirm the witness accounts.

“He was bleeding only from the head. His face was purple and blue,” said Maria Chan, a florist shop owner across the street.

Oakland Fire Department personnel witnessed some of what happened before attempting first aid on the man, authorities said.

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Police have analyzed video surveillance in the area but have yet to release more details, authorities said. An investigation is ongoing.


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