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Police use app to nab trio accused of robbing, carjacking man in Pomona park

Police use app to nab trio accused of robbing, carjacking man in Pomona park
Police said two men and a woman robbed and carjacked a man in Washington Park in Pomona. (Los Angeles Times)

Police took crime-fighting online this weekend, using an app to nab a trio of suspected thieves, alleging that the two men and a woman used a dating app to lure a man to a park in Pomona, where they stole his cellphone and car.

Police said the incident happened about 1:30 a.m. Sunday when a man and Alaiza Gamez, 18, who had met on a dating app, agreed to meet at Washington Park. The pair were sitting in the man’s tan Chevy Cruze when two men — later identified by authorities as 19-year-old Javier Soto and 38-year-old Anthony Soto — approached them.

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Police say the Sotos, who are related, pulled the man out of the car, pointed a stun gun at him and demanded he empty his pockets. Police say the two men and Gamez, who is Javier Soto’s girlfriend, made off with the man’s cellphone and car.

Hours later, the man called authorities after he found a subwoofer from his car listed on an online marketplace called OfferUp. Officers set up a meeting with the sellers through the app and arrested them when they pulled up in another stolen car in a parking lot on South Garey Avenue, police said.

The trio were arrested on suspicion of carjacking, robbery, grand theft auto and criminal threats.

The man’s 2012 tan Chevy Cruze with the California license plate number 8BGB638 is still missing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pomona Police Department at (909) 620-2085.

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