San Diego

Man Steals iPhones From 2 Stores in Vista

Within an hour, the suspect robbed a Metro PCS store and a Radio Shack, stealing iPhones from display counters

Acting as if he had a gun in his waistband, an unknown man stole iPhones from stores in Vista earlier this month – and deputies want the public’s help identifying him.

On Wednesday, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) released photos and details of two March 6 robberies linked to a single suspect.

That day, at around 6:10 p.m., the unknown man walked into a Metro PCS store at 988 Civic Center Dr. Somehow, he managed to remove two phones – and iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus – from their security cords on a display counter. After nabbing the phones, he fled.

One hour later, the suspect was back at it, this time hitting a Radio Shack located at 732 E. Vista Way. Again, he managed to remove an iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus from a display counter.

According to deputies, when an employee confronted the suspect, he indicated he had a gun in his waistband and backed out of the door. He fled in a newer model Nissan Altima, which had paper plates instead of license plates.

The SDSO said the suspect is still outstanding.

He’s described as being between 25 and 35 years old, standing at 5-foot-11, weighing about 200 pounds. He has brown eyes, long, black, curly hair and a mustache. Deputies said the man had a couple of tattoos: a red lightning bolt on his neck, near the back of his ear, and three dots tattooed on his left hand. The suspect was last seen wearing a black baseball cap with an “LA” logo on it, a black T-shirt, gray jeans and black shoes.

The investigation is ongoing; anyone with information on this case can reach out to the Vista Sheriff’s Station at (760) 940-4551 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

Metro PCS stores – which provide prepaid wireless phone services – have been heavily targeted by robbers in San Diego this year.

Last month, Justin Wayne Caldwell and Carlos Adolfo Soto were arrested in connection with at least 10 robberies at different Metro PCS stores in San Diego County. The robberies in their case spanned between Jan. 25 and Feb. 21. Investigators said the duo stole about $50,000 worth of merchandise from those stores. Both Caldwell and Soto have pleaded not guilty.

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