By Jackie Ward


OAKLAND (KPIX) — Two suspects have been arrested in connection with a laptop theft and subsequent homicide outside the Montclair Starbucks location in Oakland on New Year’s Eve, Oakland police said Wednesday.

The Starbucks location is closed Wednesday, and at the foot of its front door lies a memorial for the laptop theft victim who died after chasing the thieves.

Another memorial is set up around the corner from the store in the 2000 block of Mountain Boulevard. That’s where the victim, an adult male, was critically injured Tuesday when he attempted to pursue the suspects who stole his laptop as he was working inside the Starbucks.

The theft happened around 11:30 a.m. when one or multiple suspects stole the victim’s computer and ran outside the store. A witness told KPIX that the victim chased the suspects, clung to the getaway car that was speeding away and was dragged before being flung into a parked car.

The victim was transported to a local hospital but died Tuesday evening, Oakland police confirmed.

John Brown, the co-founder of Sophie’s Cuppa Tea, is right up the street from where Tuesday’s violent incident took place. He said Wednesday that he’s reminding his staff and customers that personal safety is always a priority.

“Understanding that it’s bad to have something taken from you that belongs to you is one thing. But it’s replaceable. Your life is not replaceable,” Brown said.

“This place just opened and I understand there’s been a lot of this going on before this,” said Montclair resident Candelaria Leon. “My friend said it’s good that this news is getting out there and maybe Starbucks will do something about it.”

Oakland police are conducting a citywide search for the suspect or suspects, but did not have any additional information on the case as of Wednesday morning.

The Alameda County Corner’s Office said they aren’t able to release the identification of the victim until all of their next of kin has been notified.

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