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Berkeley Laptop Thieves Captured On Video Punching Good Samaritan

BERKELEY (CBS SF) -- Thieves were captured on video stealing a laptop from a Berkeley cafe and punching a Good Samaritan who tried to stop them.

UC Berkeley Student Nico Jochnick was sitting at a table at Caffe Strada in Berkeley when he saw a young man grab a laptop from a customer.

Jochnick said, "…everyone was immediately up in arms, saying 'stop him, stop him, stop him.'"

UC Berkeley student Jake Olshan grabbed his phone and captured the moment around 12:50 p.m. Monday.

Olshan says the young man with the laptop tried to get away, but two men grabbed him to try and hand him over to the police.

"They both just kind of captured him and held him down until he couldn't take the laptop anymore," Olshan said.

As the younger man dropped the laptop, another man came out of nowhere.

Berkeley police say the second man was the getaway driver.

Jochnick said, "He comes in and says 'let go of him, let go of him.'"

The kid who had heroically caught the man who stole the laptop was not willing to let go of him until the guy actually punched him. At that point it became clear that they were working together.

After the punch, the two men scrambled into a waiting car and drove away.

Back in February, there was a rash of laptop thefts in Berkeley, including some that happened at Caffe Strada.

Police say those thieves are behind bars and the crimes stopped for a while, but investigators now believe these guys are part of a new ring of laptop thieves.

Berkeley Police say they say they have some leads, but so far no arrests.

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