Six men were arrested after stealing a tractor-trailer at gunpoint near South Coast Plaza Shopping Center, Costa Mesa police said.
The rig, driven by a Pomona man, was hauling two trailers to Robinsons-May department store when two men jumped into the cab at the Bristol Street exit of the San Diego Freeway at 10:50 p.m. Thursday, Detective Frank Rudisill said.
Victor Manuel Marquez, 33, told police that when he stopped for a traffic light, the men, at least one of whom was armed with a handgun, approached from both sides of the truck.
After ordering Marquez to the floor, the hijackers transferred him to a car and drove him to Anaheim Hills, where he was released unharmed.
Marquez then called Anaheim police, who contacted Costa Mesa police and Robinsons-May security and broadcast a description of the tractor-trailer.
Los Angeles police located the trailers in the 700 block of 61st Street, and the tractor about half a mile away. In addition to the $50,000 tractor-trailer, police recovered all $500,000 worth of missing merchandise.
The six Los Angeles County men arrested were identified as Carlos Nimrod Gomez Moreira, 35; Alfonso Garrea Garcia, 30; Braullio Diaz, 26; Jesus Lopez, 43; Martin Aguilar Meras, 28; and Jose Guadalupe Villanueva, 24.
All six men were returned to Costa Mesa, where they are being held on $50,000 bail each, according to Rudisill. The tractor-trailer and merchandise also were returned to Orange County.