Man tries to sell stolen iPhone back to owner
March 17, 2017
A Santa Maria man tried to sell an iPhone stolen in San Luis Obispo back to its rightful owner. Rather than completing the transaction, the man found himself in handcuffs after mistaking an undercover police officer for the owner of the phone.
Around 3:40 a.m. on Sunday, a 911 caller reported their iPhone 6 Plus was stolen in San Luis Obispo from the Taco Bell on Santa Rosa and Olive streets. Police then began working with the victim to track the phone.
Before the phone died, officers tracked it to several locations in San Luis Obispo and Avila Beach.
On Wednesday, a friend of the victim received a brief call from a man who said he had the phone and was willing to sell it back to the victim. Police then worked with the victim to communicate with the suspect and arrange a meeting.
On Thursday, an undercover officer posing as the victim arranged to meet the suspect. At 12:15 p.m., the officer met with the Armando Acosta, 41 in a public parking lot in Santa Maria. After confirming the Acosta was in possession of the stolen phone, police took the him into custody without incident.
Officers brought Acosta back to San Luis Obispo and booked him into the county jail on charges of possession of stolen property and misappropriation of lost or stolen property.
Acosta is no longer in custody, according to the county sheriff’s office website.
The San Luis Obispo Police Department says it will continue to use undercover operations to combat theft-related crimes. Also, the police department is reminding residents that once cell phones are reported stolen, they cannot be activated when taken to a cell phone provider.
Investigators request that anyone who has information about this incident call the police department at 805-781-7312 or Crime Stoppers at 805-549-STOP.