Crime

Stolen iPhone recovered when suspect tries to sell it to a cop, SLO police say

Armando Acosta, 41, was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property and misappropriation of lost or stolen property on Thursday, March 16, 2017.
Armando Acosta, 41, was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property and misappropriation of lost or stolen property on Thursday, March 16, 2017.

San Luis Obispo police set up an undercover sting in Santa Maria on Thursday to recover a stolen iPhone.

Officers arrested Armando Acosta, 41, of Santa Maria on suspicion of possession of stolen property and misappropriation of lost or stolen property.

The victim contacted the San Luis Obispo Police Department at 3:40 a.m. Sunday to report the iPhone 6 Plus stolen, according to a news release. Police tracked the cellphone to several locations in San Luis Obispo and Avila Beach before the phone went dead.

On Wednesday, a friend of the victim received a call from a man who said he had the phone and was willing to return it in exchange for money. The next day, an undercover officer posing as the victim made arrangements to meet the man and pay him for the phone, according to the release.

On Thursday, the undercover officer met with Acosta in a public parking lot near 1870 N. Broadway St. in Santa Maria, according to the release. Upon confirming that Acosta was in possession of the cellphone, police took him into custody.

Acosta was booked in County Jail and, as of 5:30 p.m. Thursday, was still in custody. His bail is set at $2,000.

Megan Henney: 805-781-7915, @megan_henney

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