Man outwits would-be thief in a scuffle over Craigslist iPad sale

A Glendale man clung to the trunk of a getaway car Friday after refusing to give up his friend’s iPad to a man who tried to use counterfeit money to buy it, police said.

The 25-year-old man advertised the sale of his friend’s iPad for $500 on Craigslist and arranged to meet an interested buyer at Starbucks on Western Avenue and Glenoaks Boulevard, according to Glendale police.

The buyer handed the seller an envelope containing money about 7:30 p.m., but the seller used a marker to check the authenticity of the bills and quickly determined they were fraudulent, police said.

When he refused to accept the bills and clutched the iPad under his arm, the buyer allegedly punched him in the chest.

The buyer grabbed the iPad, jumped over a wall and hopped onto the trunk of a getaway car as he yelled at the driver to “go,” police said.

But the seller followed him and also jumped on the car’s trunk while gripping the buyer’s shirt.

The car finally stopped on Thompson Avenue, where the seller and buyer fell to the ground.

They continued to struggle over the iPad until the buyer finally gave it up and told the seller he could have it.

The buyer jumped into the getaway car and fled the scene.

Such thefts could be avoided if electronic devices carried “kill-switch” technology, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

A kill switch would essentially render any stolen smartphone useless and reduce the possibility of thieves reselling it on the black market.

Last month, officials in San Francisco and New York introduced the “Secure Our Smartphones” initiative, a coalition of law enforcement officials, top prosecutors and public safety activists aimed at working with cell phone manufacturers to develop kill-switch technology.

“If they go ahead and develop the kill-switch technology, it would solve all of our problems,” Lorenz said.


Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.


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