Two in custody linked to cell phone robberies in Rialto
Melissa Pinion-Whitt, Staff Writer
Posted: 09/25/2012 04:50:54 PM PDT
RIALTO – The buyers who showed up at a Rialto address Monday to purchase an iPhone advertised on Craigslist weren’t actually interested in a cell phone. They were Rialto police officers out to catch the sellers, suspected in the robberies of several people at gunpoint in the city by posting fake ads on the classified ad website.
“There are five or six (victims) that we know of,” said Rialto police Capt. Randy DeAnda. “We believe there’s still a few victims out there that we’re trying to identify.” Denzel Adedotin Rogers, 19, and a 17-year-old boy were arrested on suspicion of robbery. Police said both suspects are parolees who had previously been convicted of robbery.
They advertised iPhones on Craigslist and communicated with would-be buyers via text messaging. The suspects arranged to meet their victims in person, but instead of selling a phone, they confronted the victims with guns and stole their money and other property, police said.
Investigators eventually identified the suspects as Rogers and the teen. They also found an advertisement allegedly posted by the pair on Craigslist. Police posed as potential customers and began text-messaging the suspects. They agreed to meet Monday in the 2700 block of West Fairview Drive, the same location where the robberies occurred. Police held a stakeout at the location.
Officers confronted Rogers when he arrived. He fled to his nearby residence. Roger initially refused to surrender to police, but eventually came outside and was arrested. Police arrested the teen at the same home. Investigators suspect there are more victims who have not reported being robbed by the pair. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Greg Marquez at 909-421-4995 or 909-820-2550.