San Diego

‘Buyer' Robs Man Selling Phone Online, Takes Seller's Kids' Phones

A San Marcos resident looking to make some extra cash by selling a used cell phone was robbed at gunpoint during a meet up with a potential buyer, deputies said.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said the victim arranged the transaction on a popular phone app on Dec. 3.

When the buyer arrived at the agreed meeting location along Gopher Canyon Road, he got into the victim's car, took the keys out of the ignition and pointed a gun at the victim.

The buyer then demanded the seller's phone, wallet and other valuables, deputies said.

He also took phones from the seller’s children in the back seat, according to deputies. The children are 4 and 5 years old. 

Meanwhile, a second suspect opened the trunk of the seller’s car and took recently-purchased gifts.

The first suspect got out of the car with the keys and discarded them away from the car, deputies said.

Investigators identified the first suspect as 27-year-old Brian Chase. Stolen property from the robbery was found in a search of Chase's apartment, deputies said.

Chase was arrested Dec. 12 and was being held without bail at the Vista Detention Facility.

Deputies are still trying to identify the second suspect, and Crime Stoppers has offered up to $1,000 for information leading to his arrest.

SDSO detectives from the Vista Street Narcotics and Gang Detail and Vista Gang Enforcement Team are investigating the incident.

Anyone with information about the second suspect can call the SDSO’s Vista Station at (760) 940-4551 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477.

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