A 19-year-old Pittsburg man is in custody today after surveillance cameras and witness testimony fingered him as the suspect in a startlingly direct, broad daylight robbery of a man attempting to finalize a Craigslist deal for an iPhone Plus.
Lafayette Police Chief Eric Christensen said officers from Lafayette, Orinda and Pittsburg executed a search warrant at the residence of Irving Rosales on Wednesday morning after surveillance cameras turned up images of the dark blue SUV used in the robbery and a witness identified Rosales as the man who robbed him.
Investigators said Rosales was out on bail following his arrest on a grand theft charge in Concord Oct. 11.
Police said Rosales and the phone’s prospective buyer made contact through a Craigslist ad, Rosales allegedly saying he had an iPhone to sell and the local man expressing interest in the device. The pair met at 960 Moraga Road at 12:14 p.m. with Rosales – saying he was from Pleasant Hill – keeping the meeting in the parking lot of a small cluster of businesses on Moraga Road. Police said Rosales brandished what looked like a black semiautomatic pistol when the would-be buyer approached his car and demanded the man’s money. When informed the money for the deal was inside a nearby business, the thief demanded the victim’s cell phone and took that, instead.
Police developed information on the car used in the robbery and a neighborhood canvas turned up surveillance video of the SUV. The car was traced to the Pittsburg address, a warrant was sought the following day and Rosales taken into custody when he was found at his residence and a replica firearm used in the robbery was allegedly found in his car.
Rosales was arrested for suspicion of armed robbery. The phone taken during the theft was recovered, police said. The victim was not injured during the robbery.