Strada patrons fought back after laptop robbery near UC Berkeley

Police said two of the suspects were arrested the same day after a theft at Marshalls in Emeryville.

Strada patrons fought back after laptop robbery near UC Berkeley
The robbery happened at Caffe Strada in Berkeley. Google Street View

Two suspects from Wednesday's laptop robbery near UC Berkeley were arrested in Emeryville hours later after committing a crime in that city, according to police and court records.

Emeryville police stopped the pair after a shoplifting report at Marshalls on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

The incident began in Berkeley at about 12:40 p.m. when two people got out of a Jeep and approached patrons at Caffè Strada, at 2300 College Ave. (and Bancroft Way).

One of them "began stealing multiple laptops from several tables," Berkeley police said.

Patrons fought back and prevented him from getting their laptops, BPD said.

During the commotion, his accomplice managed to take a laptop, according to police.

Strada patrons held down one of the culprits at the scene, but he was able to struggle out of their grasp and flee with his accomplice in a gray Jeep.

Berkeley police spotted the Jeep nearby and tried to stop it, but the driver failed to yield and got away, police said.

A bit later that day, the same group ended up in Emeryville where they committed a theft at Marshalls, police said.

Two people were arrested but the getaway driver escaped, BPD said. The stolen laptop was not recovered.

One suspect was identified in booking records as 21-year-old Zaciah McDougal. Police said he was linked to Berkeley but had no permanent address.

McDougal was arrested on suspicion of two counts of robbery but was charged Thursday with two counts of grand theft, according to court records.

He has no other charged criminal cases listed in Alameda County.

As of Thursday, McDougal remained in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $200,000, according to booking records. He is scheduled for arraignment Friday

The other suspect was a 16-year-old from Fairfield who was released to his parents after his arrest. No further information about him was immediately available.

The robbery happened at Caffe Strada in Berkeley. Google Street View

Original story, April 17: Berkeley police are investigating a reported strong-arm robbery at a popular cafe near UC Berkeley on Wednesday.

Information was preliminary, but police were alerted at 12:40 p.m. about a laptop robbery at Caffè Strada, at 2300 College Ave. (and Bancroft Way).

The robbery crew left in what was reported to be a gray Jeep or SUV with a license plate that had been reported stolen.

This story will be updated when additional details become available.

Read more about robberies in Berkeley.

There have been about 65 other robberies reported in the blocks surrounding UC Berkeley in the past six months, along with six robberies on campus, according to data from BPD and UCPD.

On Friday at 6:30 a.m., the University of California Police Department said that two male subjects in dark clothing and ski masks got out of a white Nissan four-door sedan and grabbed the backpack of a student in his 20s who had been walking near the West Crescent.

Earlier in the month, on April 2, UCPD put out a WarnMe notice about a student in his 30s who had been walking near Dana Street and Channing Way at 7:30 p.m. "when he was grabbed from behind by an unknown suspect. The victim thought he felt a gun in his back, but never saw it," police wrote.

The robber fled east on Channing on a bike after taking the student's property.

Read more about crime in Berkeley.

Most of the other crime reports coming out of UCPD this semester have been related to property crime, but there was also an aggravated assault reported last week.

On April 10 at about 6:55 p.m., police said a passenger in a blue convertible Pontiac that was southbound on Gayley Road struck a pedestrian who had been walking northbound on Gayley "with an unknown projectile."

The suspect vehicle left eastbound on Rim Way, UCPD said in a WarnMe notice. Two males and one female were in the car.

On March 31, police also investigated gunfire during an auto theft attempt not far from the north side of campus.

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