Rubi Rubio, 15-year-old Who Chased iPhone Thief, Dies From Fall Off Getaway Car

After stealing the iPhone, the man jumped into a light gray or silver Pontiac, police say.
After stealing the iPhone, the man jumped into a light gray or silver Pontiac, police say.
Courtesy of Santa Ana Police Department

Rubi Rubio's mother says she got her 15-year-old daughter an iPhone because she had been doing so well with schoolwork and household chores. This included Rubi looking after her 7-year-old sister, which is what she was doing around noon Thursday while walking in Santa Ana. That's when a stranger grabbed Rubi's iPhone and jumped into a car driven by someone else. Rubi gave chase and jumped onto the trunk of the silver or light gray Pontiac, which sped off. She either fell or was shaken off, suffered a major head wound after hitting the pavement and by Saturday was declared brain dead. Now Santa Ana homicide detectives are seeking the public's help in finding the iPhone thief.

This all happened around noon Thursday in the 1000 block of West Warner Avenue, according to Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, who disclosed a second man was behind the wheel of the Pontiac.

The mother of Rubio, a Saddleback High School sophomore, explained how important the iPhone was to her daughter at a news conference at SAPD Tuesday.

That's also where detectives disclosed they are looking for the iPhone thief, who was described as a Latino in his late 20s or early 30s, 5 feet 8 to 5 feet 10 and with a medium build. He was last seen wearing a black baseball hat, white tank top and light-colored jeans.

The iPhone was recovered, according to police.

Anyone with information that can help find him is asked to call investigators at 714.245.8390. Anonymous tips can be left with Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855.847.6227 (855-TIP-OCCS) and/or at

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