Irvine detectives on Monday arrested a man who allegedly posted fake luxury items for sale on Craigslist and then robbed the buyers at gunpoint when they showed up with cash.
Arnold Min Baek, 27, of Lake Forest, twice lured his victims to a home in Irvine and then pulled what looked like a handgun on them, police said.
On Jan. 4, a man from La Habra Heights met Baek in Irvine to buy a Rolex watch for $4,200 — the agreed-upon price — according to police.
Baek allegedly pulled out the gun and demanded the money while the two men were in the car on their way to a jewelry store where Baek said the watch would be appraised.
On Jan. 16, a couple from Monterey Park met Baek at the same Irvine home where they planned to hand over $15,000 for a 2008 Mercedes-Benz C300, police said.
Instead, Baek told them they'd have to drive with him to a carwash to see the Mercedes, and when they refused, he allegedly pulled the gun and demanded the money.
In both instances, the goods Baek was reportedly selling were fake. Police said he used photos he found online to advertise the Rolex and Mercedes in his Craigslist ads.
During both robberies, Baek told the victims he needed the money to take care of a special-needs child, police said.
Irvine police tracked down Baek when they responded to another Craigslist ad for a Mercedes.
Detectives arranged to meet Tuesday, but they instead were able to find him and arrest him Monday at a Lake Forest coffee shop where he was using his computer.
Police said they found Baek with a replica handgun that looked like the weapon described by his alleged victims.