Home Scandal and Gossip Oakland Starbucks customer dies on 34th birthday chasing laptop thief

Oakland Starbucks customer dies on 34th birthday chasing laptop thief

Shuo Zeng Oakland Starbucks
Shuo Zeng Oakland Starbucks customer dies chasing laptop thief. Screenshot via NBC Bay Area.
Shuo Zeng Oakland Starbucks
Shuo Zeng Oakland Starbucks customer dies chasing laptop thief. Screenshot via NBC Bay Area.

Oakland Starbucks customer dies chasing laptop thief- run over by getaway car. Identity of victim released- killed on his 34th birthday.

### Update January 3, 4pm: Friends and neighbors in the days after Tuesday’s tragedy identified the Oakland customer who died giving chasing after his laptop was stolen at the store as Shuo Zeng.

Friends said he was kind, smart and a hard worker.

Of note, Zeng died on his 34th birthday according to CBS San Fransisco local.

Zeng lived a mile and a half from the Montclair District Starbucks where the laptop theft occurred.

Shuo Zeng Oakland Starbucks victim was a native of China. He attended Kansas State University for his graduate school. He moved to the Bay Area in 2015 to work for Aspera, an IBM company in Emeryville, as a research scientist and engineer, according to his Linkedin profile. A manager at Aspera declined to comment on the story Thursday afternoon.

Friends said he was an avid photographer who loved to travel and hike.

Appearing in court on Thursday were Byron Reed, 22, and Javon Lee, 21,- with both men charged in connection with Montclair Starbucks laptop robbery and death.

Bail for Lee was set at $255,000, while Reed is being held without bail abc7 news reports.

According to charging documents, Lee was involved in taking the laptop. He’s charged with involuntary manslaughter and second degree robbery. Lee was previously convicted in Feb. 2017 on second degree robbery in San Francisco.

Reed is charged with special circumstance murder and second degree robbery. He was previously convicted in November 2017 on second degree robbery in San Francisco.

Investigators are still determining if additional suspects(s) are involved according to an Oakland Police Department release. Reports told of a 3rd person being sought.

Montclair Starbucks laptop robbery and death: 

### Original post January 1: Two suspects were arrested Wednesday after a man who had his laptop stolen while at an Oakland Starbucks venue in California – was hit by the suspected thieves’ fleeing car as he gave chase.

The victim was working on his computer at the coffee shop chain when someone entered and stole the computer out from under him, KTVU reported. The victim gave chase and was injured as the thief attempted to escape by car.

The victim, since identified as Chinese emigre, Shuo Zeng, died a few hours later, from head injuries he sustained on the scene.

The theft occurred at around 11:30 a.m. at the Starbucks location in the 2000 block of Mountain Boulevard, CBS San Francisco local reports.

How much is a laptop worth?

Officer Johnna Watson said it’s possible there was an accomplice who tried to assist the robber in making a quick getaway.

‘The suspect or suspects got into that vehicle with the laptop,’ Watson told via KTVU. ‘The victim tried to continue to get it back and at that time in the 6100 block of Antioch (street) the victim … was critically injured.’

Fire department personnel attempted to give the victim first aid before he was rushed to the hospital by ambulance, but they were unable to save him.

One witness said the victim tried to jump on the vehicle, which was speeding away, resulting in the victim’s critical injuries.

Other witnesses told of the victim grabbing onto the robber’s car door handle as the vehicle accelerated and accidentally slamming his head against a parked car, causing him to bleed profusely. 

At some point during the attempt to retrieve the computer, witnesses told of their horror as they watched the victim being dragged by the vehicle as it accelerated.

Maria Chan, who runs a flower shop across the street, described what she saw via KGO.
‘He was bleeding only from the head. His face was purple and blue. Fortunately someone tried to do first aid to help him,’ she said.

‘His body [is] still in my mind. Such a young man,’ Chan reiterated. ‘It’s not worth it to chase after the laptop.’

Oakland police are asking anyone who witnessed the incident to contact them at at 510-238-3455.