A boy who used an online application to set up a meeting and steal a man’s cellphone in Canyon Country was arrested after offering the phone for sale using the same app, police said Friday.
The victim, a resident of Santa Clarita, met the suspect about 5:30 p.m. Monday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
“The two connected with each other on a social media application/website where items are sold, bought and traded,” according to a sheriff’s department statement. “Eventually they agreed to meet in a public place in Canyon Country.”
When they met, the buyer pushed the victim to the ground and ran past a security gate, which was quickly slammed shut by another male suspect, blocking the victim’s path, officials alleged.
“The two males suspected of setting up this robbery then fled with the victim’s cellphone,” according to the sheriff’s department. “The following day, the victim came to (the) Santa Clarita Station after seeing his cellphone for sale on the same app that he was originally trying to sell it (on) before he was robbed.”
The victim set up a meeting, but this time he had sheriff’s deputies in tow.
“With the victim’s detailed description of the first suspect, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Special Assignment Team and assisting detectives were able to locate and arrest the suspect as he arrived to sell the stolen phone on (Thursday),” officials said.
“They learned the male was a juvenile and the victim’s cellphone was recovered. The other male subject was later arrested … .”
Sheriff’s officials advise sellers of merchandise to use so-called safe exchange zones located outside many LASD stations. The zones are painted in green, have signs marking them and are under video surveillance.
“Most criminals do not want to commit crimes at the police department, as they know victims are just steps away from help,” according to the sheriff’s department. “Call your local station to see if they have one.”