Oakland community in shock following death of man who chased laptop thief

Bay Area

OAKLAND (KRON) — Messages from strangers almost covering the front window of the Montclair Starbucks on Mountain Boulevard.

“I think there’s a lot of feelings about this in our community,” Kit Vaq said. “Granted that there’s things that happen all over Oakland all the time but this area is shocked when it happens in the neighborhood.”

Susan Graham lives in nearby Rockbridge, she left post-its out for anyone who wants to pay their respects for the man who died after chasing thieves who stole his laptop.

“Really out of sheer frustration and I felt that I can’t be the only one that feels that they want to express themselves but how,” Graham said. “I came out early this morning around 8 o’clock and brought some post its and pens and this is what it’s becoming.”

The name of the victim has not yet been released as Oakland police investigate what is now a homicide.

It was the morning of New Year’s Eve when a man believed to be in his 30s was working on his laptop.

Oakland police said someone stole his laptop inside.

The victim chased the thief to their getaway car. We’re told a black BMW SUV rental with three men — the driver with a mask covering his face.

Witnesses said the victim was dragged while holding on to the SUV’s door and hit his head on a parked car – he later died at the hospital from his injury.

After 24 hours, police arrested two suspects.

We’re told these surveillance cameras on La Salle and Mountain Boulevard, just a few blocks away from the incident — caught the getaway vehicle’s license plate that led to the arrests.

Montclair Village associations assistant director Toni Mikulka said the village raised $5,000 and received a $10,000 grant to buy and install security cameras last year.

“They’re (cameras) all over Montclair,” Montclair said. They’ve helped us with 11 different incidents now 12 in assisting the OPD to locate suspects and criminals.”

While the cameras played a key role in the investigation, people in the neighborhood and surrounding communities want more done by the city of Oakland.

“We need a solid ongoing police presence without being reactionary but taking a proactive stance,” Graham said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Latest News

More News