Armenian Power Gangsters Used Craigslist to Rob, Cops Say
Two men were arrested and another was sought after a Craigslist sale turned into a robbery, with an iPhone 5 being snatched from the victim in Panorama City, the LAPD alleged. The two are Armenian Power gangsters, cops said:
It started when the 24-year-old victim, who had advertised a laptop for sale, met up with the trio about 8 p.m. Saturday in a McDonald's parking lot at 9107 Van Nuys Blvd., police said.
Suspect Levon Iskandaryan, 23, allegedly "coerced the seller to walk to a nearby car by saying the rear passenger was pointing a gun at him," according to an LAPD statement.
Cops say Mambreh Khachian, 33, was indeed holding a gun, and that a third suspect was behind the wheel. The LAPD alleges this is what happened next:
Iskandaryan grabbed the phone from the victim, then the two struggled over it for a moment. When the victim lost his hold, the car door shut, but caught the victim's clothing. As the car sped away, it dragged the victim for several feet, tearing his clothes, scraping and burning his skin.
Iskandaryan via the LAPD
Khachian via the LAPD
Alas, it appeared that the two named suspects were easily found, ostensibly through the smartphones "Find My iPhone" app. According to an LAPD statement:
Detectives pinged the phone and traced the signal to a house in the 7900 block of Hillrose Street, Sunland.
Guess who was there? Khachian, who left and was tailed by detectives, and Iskandaryan, who lives there with his parents, cops said.
The latter is on probation, so officers were able to search the place, but they didn't come up with the phone, according to police.
Cops said the duo confessed to the robbery because they were concerned the earlier dragging of the victim might have killed him.
Detectives allege the phone was subsequently "fenced" before they could recover it: Iskandaryan and Khachian advertised it on -- you guessed it -- Craigslist for $350 and quickly found a buyer at a Starbucks in Glendale, police said.
The device's location services confirmed it had been at the Starbucks, they said. Now they want the buyer to come forward and turn it in. Some but not all of the cash was recovered from suspects, cops said.
Photo by Julie Haire / Wikipedia
Iskandaryan and Khachian were booked on suspicion of armed robbery and jailed in lieu of $125,000 each. The two are "documented members" of the gang known as Armenian Power, police said.
The driver got away and cops are looking for him.
If you have the phone or info on the man behind the wheel, detectives would like to hear from you: 213-838-9898.