A 20-year-old Placentia man police said found his victims on an online marketplace was arrested Thursday on suspicion of robbery and terrorist threats.
Kion Lathan allegedly robbed people while pretending to sell them electronics. In one case, he waited until his victim handed over the money, then he “reached into his waistband as if he had a weapon,” according to Sgt. Chris Anderson of the Placentia Police Department.
Another time, Lathan allegedly gave a devalued electronic item to a victim then ran off with the person’s money.
In a third case, Lathan tried to take a victim’s money by force, but was unsuccessful. Lathan then threatened to shoot the victim and claimed he was in a gang, Anderson said.
Lathan found his victims on Letgo, an online marketplace, and police believe he opened and closed accounts on the site to elude detection, Anderson said.
Detectives were able to find Lathan on the site. They pretended to express interest in buying a laptop from him to arrange a meeting, Anderson said. Lathan asked the undercover detectives to meet him in the same location as the previous three robberies.
Lathan was taken into custody without incident and was booked into the Orange County Jail for robbery, terrorist threats, and other theft charges, according to Anderson.