Man dragged by car during laptop robbery in Berkeley

Bay Area

BERKELEY (KRON) — Police in Berkeley are searching for a suspect after a man was dragged 100 feet, tethered to his laptop bag during a strong arm robbery.

Police say it happened at around 8 p.m. Tuesday.

A busy walking and biking corridor in Berkeley, College Avenue running through the Elmwood neighborhood is a soft spot for crime.

“I don’t think I take any precautions in my daily life to protect myself from something like this. It’s just mostly hoping it doesn’t happen,” said resident Mimi Main.

But sometimes crime does happen, and in Berkeley it’s happening more and more.

Cell phones are being snatched from people at coffee shops and on the streets.

Earlier this month, the Berkeley Police Department saying 35 laptop thefts have been reported so far this year and more have happened since.

On Tuesday, police say a 27-year-old man was walking down College Avenue near Woolsey Street. Just as the victim crossed Woolsey Street, the police department says an African American man wearing a green hooded top, possibly in his 20s, grabbed the victim by his throat and threw him to the ground.

“The man still had the bag — still had his arms in the bag, so he was tangled in the bag,” said Berkeley Police Officer Byron White.

Officer White says the suspect then dragged the man, his bag and laptop to a waiting car and continued to drag the victim as he and another suspect drove off.

White says the man was able to break free about 100 feet later.

“Fortunately, he only just got some bumps and some bruises, scraps,” White said.

Now that the spring class at Cal Berkeley has graduated, police hope these crimes will slow down, with fewer people in the area as summer approaches.

Leaving your laptops and other small personal electronic items at home is still recommended.

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