Laptop thieves descend upon wireless cafes

By Derek Sooman on
Watch out for yourself the next time you are surfing the Net in public using your laptop - "hot spots" frequented by wireless laptop users are becoming hot spots for laptop robberies. Stories of folks being robbed and even seriously assaulted for their laptops in hot spots are becoming more frequent. Police say normally quiet cafes are becoming hunting grounds for laptop bandits, with reported crimes of this nature soaring in 2005.

"I looked up, and I saw this guy leaning into me as if he was asking a question," he said. "I leaned forward, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone fiddling with the computer cord. I tried to stand up, and as I stepped back, he stabbed me in the chest."

"It's a changing culture, and crime is following it," police Lt. John Loftus said. "To the criminal element, this is a valuable piece of equipment that they can quite easily cash in on -- even otherwise law-abiding people are tempted to buy $3,000 laptops for $200 to $300 on the street."

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