DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Cell phones, tablets and laptops have disappeared in a string of recent thefts in Uptown Dallas, in which victims report electronics were ripped right out of their hands.
“It shocked me so bad. It made me so mad, so my first instinct was to just chase him,” said Alina Warner.
Warner said she was sitting at the Crooked Tree Coffee House last Friday afternoon working on her laptop, when a thief grabbed it out from under her hands.
Security video shows her and two witnesses pursuing the culprit as he jumped into a getaway car.
CBS 11 showed her the video for the first time Monday.
“I mean, it’s just surreal,” she said. “I only had one shoe on. I didn’t even realize it until I was halfway down the alley,” she said.
On Facebook, an officer assigned to patrol the area wrote, “A lot of these thefts involve force, and more and more even have get away cars. They have been known to even reach in cars and snatch phones out of people’s hands.”
“I’ve just been told this is a crime that’s on the rise in the DFW area,” said Warner.
Police say the culprits in many of these cases appear to be boys between 12 to 17 years old, working in groups of two to four.
They’re accused of walking through shops, like a coffee shop, suddenly seizing someone’s electronics off the table in front of them.
Warner said she’s glad she didn’t get hurt.
“I think if someone was brazen enough to grab something out of hands, he probably would have assaulted me if I had resisted,” said Warner.