Number of laptop robberies increasing in San Francisco wireless cafes

The Associated Press is reporting that laptop robberies are on the rise in San Francisco Internet cafes. Criminals are getting away with expensive laptops after swiping them from tables and even by robbing the laptop owners, sometimes with violent force. Last month a forty-year old man was stabbed in a chest and robbed of his Apple PowerBook by two criminals.

San Francisco police statistics show that 48 robberies occurred in 2005, which is more than double of the 18 robberies that happened in 2004. Some cafes have installed security cable locks and have started posting employees at the doors.

San Francisco just approved a deal with Google and Earthlink to offer city-wide wireless service. If criminals are gutsy enough to steal notebooks from the inside of a coffee shop, we wonder what may happen when wireless users are seen more frequently out in the open like in a park or on a city bench.

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