The Garden Grove Police Department recently received a theft report from a man who was selling his iPhone through Craigslist but had it stolen by another man who responded to the ad. Coupled with other reports of someone using counterfeit money to buy used iPhones through Craigslist, the cops decided to set up a sting.
Posing as a buyer on Craigslist, officers eventually met and arrested a man who wasn not only carrying stolen iPhones, but he was also identified as the phony buyer who previously snatched the guy's iPhone.Robert Gonzales
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, 20, of Anaheim, has been arrested on suspicion of theft, possession of various stolen items and possession of counterfeit money, according to Garden Grove police.
The victim who started the sting in motion had met the man, whom the victim later identified as Gonzales at the Starbuck's at Euclid and Chapman avenues in Garden Grove. After taking the seller's iPhone, the thief ran to a waiting vehicle.
After Wednesday's 2 p.m. meeting with undercover cops that led to Gonzales' arrest, a search of his residence produced counterfeit money. Investigators are now trying to figure out if the suspect is responsible for other crimes related to Craigslist or similar websites.
"The public should be very cautious when buying or selling items on Craigslist." Garden Grove police warn in a press statement. "Buyers or sellers should meet in a public location and should have another person attend the meeting with the potential buyer or seller. Sellers should be aware of how to identify counterfeit money."