The man, arrested for possession of stolen property, sold the laptop online in April, a month after it was stolen from the Californian university.
"The laptop was stolen from the inner offices of the Graduate Division when it was momentarily unoccupied around lunch time," said the university in a statement. "The computer contained dozens of files with the names and Social Security numbers of current and former graduate students as well as others."
After the laptop was stolen in March it was sold by a woman to the San Franciscan, who has not been named, and then bought by a South Carolinan on an auction website.
The man claimed he did not know the name of the woman who he bought the stolen goods from, but his description did match one of a woman seen on the University of Berkley campus when it was originally pinched.
"Since the time the laptop theft occurred, campus police have learned of no pattern of identity theft or credit card fraud involving those individuals with names and Social Security numbers on the Graduate Division computer," said Berkeley officials.
In August SC reported hackers hit a Colorado university's servers for the third time in under two months. In the hacking spree over 50,000 students may have had their personal data compromised.