2 arrested after man killed while trying to stop laptop theft at Oakland Starbucks

ByLaura Anthony and Kate Larsen KGO logo
Thursday, January 2, 2020
2 arrested after man killed trying to stop laptop theft in Oakland
Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the homicide of a man who was attempting to stop at laptop theft at a Starbucks in Oakland, police said.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The Oakland Police Department confirms investigators have made two arrests in the death of a young man outside a Montclair District Starbucks Tuesday afternoon.

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The arrests come after the unidentified victim was reportedly dragged by the fleeing suspect's SUV after he tried to jump into the car as it drove away from the busy coffee shop on Mountain Boulevard.

"It all just happened so fast. He was really fast. He was really brave," said Julie, who did not want us to use her last name.

Julie and her young daughter were sitting next to a young man working on his laptop near the front door of the Starbucks, when there was a sudden commotion.

"The guy ran in, grabbed his laptop," said Julie. "The kid who was working chased after him. It happened very fast.

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Julie said she saw the victim leap into the suspect's car, a black SUV that was waiting just outside.

"The kid jumped into the car," said Julie. "It was like superman type dive. I mean he made it pretty far into the car," she said. "There was a struggle and I think they pushed him out and then he got dragged."

Jack Ronner, who lives in Montclair Village, saw the suspect's car speed away from the scene.

"We don't just sit here and watch things like that," Ronner said. " I mean it was a vroom! And I turned behind me and the car was disappearing up there at a high rate of speed."

Ronner jumped on his motorcycle to chase after the suspects' black BMW, but to no avail.

He and others were horrified, when they saw the laptop owner lying on Antioch Street around the corner from Starbucks.

"I couldn't see his face because it was covered with blood," said Jean Miller, who spent part of her New Year's day wrapping up flowers with crime tap, where the young man was killed, right outside her salon.

"He was lifeless when I was standing there," Miller said.

The victim later died at an Oakland hospital.

Aaron Reams and his young daughters were just about to cross the intersection at Mountain and La Salle when Reams told ABC7 News, the black SUV came racing toward them.

"The getaway car kind of blasted through the intersection. We were about one step from getting hit," explained Reams. "I made eye contact with that driver when he went through the intersection and I saw that he had a black mask on which was kind of peculiar. Fortunately he saw me and the four kids and avoided us going through the intersection but yeah it was kind of scary."

Reams and his family returned this morning to pay their respects to the young man who died at a growing memorial outside the coffee shop.

John Brown owns Sophie's Cup of Tea just up the street. He said he and his business partner talked with their customers first thing this morning.

"This is a community tea shop and we just sat together and everybody chatted about the surprising nature of what happened," said Brown, "and we chatted about the fact that you've got to remember, your life is worth more than anything."

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For those who saw what happened in Oakland's normally quiet Montclair District, this New Year will be memorable in a way they never imagined.

"Gosh. I feel so bad for his family," said Julie. "Thinking just like the day we get to have versus what they're dealing with."

Howard Neal with the Montclair Village Association told ABC7 News that the district's cameras captured the getaway vehicle and a license plate number and that information was relayed to OPD.

Oakland police and the Alameda County coroner have yet to release the name of the victim, pending notification of his next of kin.

Police also released no details about the suspects who were arrested, only saying the investigation continues. Anyone with information is asked to called investigators at (510) 238-3821.