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Laptop Thief Pummels Starbucks Customer in the Face with a Flashlight: NYPD

By Allegra Hobbs | July 22, 2016 5:28pm | Updated on July 24, 2016 1:10pm
 The victim is a regular at the Starbucks at 80 Delancey St., according to the store's shift manager.
The victim is a regular at the Starbucks at 80 Delancey St., according to the store's shift manager.
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DNAinfo/Allegra Hobbs

LOWER EAST SIDE — A thief made off with a Starbucks customer’s laptop while pretending to be a good Samaritan, then pummeled the victim in the face with a flashlight on July 14, according to police and an employee at the coffee shop. 

When a customer at the 80 Delancey St. Starbucks approached the barista bar and handed over a bag and jacket that had been left behind at around 5:30 p.m., shift manager Daniel Williams thought the customer was simply being a good neighbor. 

“We didn’t think anything of it,” he said, adding the thief and his pregnant wife had been cracking jokes with the baristas moments earlier. “We thought the customer was being observant.”

But when the owner of the belongings, who Williams says is a regular, returned to the shop after a cigarette break, he recovered his bag from the baristas and was dismayed to find his Macbook laptop had been taken, Williams said.

Armed with Williams’ description of the suspect, the 60-year-old victim went out looking for the thief and finally caught up with him near 152 E. Broadway, police said.

When the victim confronted him about the stolen laptop, the thief pulled out a Magnate flashlight and began pummeling him repeatedly in the face and head before fleeing in an unknown direction, according to a police report. 

The victim was taken to a nearby hospital with cuts, redness, and swelling on the left side of his face and head, but left against the doctor’s orders to file a police report with the 7th Precinct, police said.

Police are still looking for the suspect, described as a man around 45 years old, standing at 5-foot-9 and weighing 150 pounds, with blue eyes and short brown hair. Williams said the man, while at Starbucks, went by the name “Zulu.”