LA MESA, Calif. - A burglary victim found his stolen camera on Craigslist, but police said he falsely claimed a gun had been pulled on him as he confronted the three burglary suspects Saturday.
The suspects were arrested near the westbound Interstate 8 onramp at Johnson Avenue in El Cajon around 2 a.m. Saturday. They had been tracked to the area by the man whose camera they stole on Friday in San Diego, La Mesa Police Department Lt. Ray Sweeney said.
Jessica Hartt, 31, Dominic Gress, 25, and Joseph Kelly, 19, were arrested and booked on suspicion of multiple felony charges including possession of stolen property and possession of burglary tools, Sweeney said.
The victim called La Mesa police around 1:40 a.m. Saturday to tell them he had found a listing for his swiped camera on Craigslist, and had arranged to meet the suspects at Grossmont Center at 2 a.m., Sweeney said.
Police reportedly told the victim it was dangerous to meet with the suspects and was told to wait for officers, who were busy with a separate burglary arrest in another area of La Mesa.
But a short time later, the victim called La Mesa police again and reported he had met with the suspects, and reported the suspects had pulled a gun on him as he attempted to buy back his stolen camera, Sweeney said.
The victim followed the suspects and helped officers from the El Cajon Police Department and La Mesa police locate the suspects' vehicle as it turned onto westbound I-8 from Johnson Avenue in El Cajon, Sweeney said.
Officers stopped the vehicle without incident and recovered the stolen camera, Sweeney said. No gun was located and a preliminary investigation proved the victim's allegation that the suspects had pulled a gun at Grossmont Center was false.