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Craigslist ad for iPhone 5 phones ends in robbery attempt

November 14, 2012 | 12:22 pm

Approximate location of incident shown in black.

Thieves tried to rob a man at gunpoint in Glendale after he responded to a Craigslist ad to buy two iPhones, one day after a similar cellphone-related episode a few miles away, police said.

In the first incident, two 19-year-old men were robbed Thursday at gunpoint at a Glendale gas station on North Glendale Avenue after posting an ad on Craigslist to sell seven cellphones, according to police.

Friday's robbery attempt took place after a 25-year-old Montebello man responded to a Craigslist ad for the sale for two, 64-gigabyte iPhone 5 mobile phones for $950, police said. The same iPhone model is being sold by Apple for $399 with a wireless phone contract.

Carrying more than $1,000 in cash in hand, the victim, accompanied by his 18-year-old cousin, headed to Hazel Street in Glendale to meet the purported seller. A short conversation ensued before another man jumped out of nearby bushes brandishing a black, semi-automatic handgun and demanded the cash, police said.

The would-be buyer told the gunman his wallet was inside his vehicle and got into the passenger seat before getting into a struggle over the wallet and gun that allowed the victim's cousin, in the driver's seat, to drive off, leaving the gunman behind, police said.

Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz advised against such confrontations, saying “taking action like that not only puts his life in danger but could have put others in the area in danger if the gun had gone off.”

“Best thing to do is cooperate,” Lorenz said. “Property can be replaced, lives cannot. Second, don’t allow yourself to be placed in that position.”


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Map: Approximate location of incident shown in black. Credit: Los Angeles Times Mapping L.A.