Caught on cam: man steals iPhone from seller

Posted at 10:40 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 22:51:29-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- A sale stemming from social media went wrong when a man attempted to steal an iPhone from the person who owned it, and it was all caught on camera.

The seller met an interested buyer through Facebook and decided to make the sale at 7-Eleven on Pine Island Road.

"I showed him the phone and everything. I opened it up, showed him everything that was inside of it," Jared Hamilton said. "Then he just kind of slowly grabs it, like really slowly, as if he's wanting ot take a second look at something on it, and then he shoves me and darts off toward the front of the building."

Hamilton was selling a brand new iPhone to a stranger he met on Facebook before the stranger took off running with it.

Hamilton's wife caught the whole thing on her cell phone camera from inside the school.

Hamilton was selling the phone on Barter King SWFL, a page on Facebook where you can sell different items.

A guy going by the name "Bobby Vialva" was interested.

"I didn't take the time to look into the profile or anything like that, but I agreed to meet up with him in Cape Coral," Hamilton said.

The two texted back and forth a few times, then Hamilton said the stranger led him on a wild goose chase.

Hamilton said he was driving around for an hour before he finally told him to meet at him at the 7-Eleven on Pine Island Road.

"As we're pulling in, my wife has the idea to record the transaction. I said 'That's a genius idea,' because I'm already sketched out as it is," Hamilton told Four in Your Corner's Lisa Greenberg.

The stranger showed up. Hamilton said he was barefoot, wearing an old pair of gym shorts and a blue-grey t-shirt.

When he took off with the phone, Hamilton chased him until he tripped into a ditch. The stranger fled but left the phone behind.

Hamilton called 911 and filed a report with the Cape Coral Police Department.

After the ordeal, Hamilton sent the stranger a text saying "I've got you on video," and "You better believe I'm pushing for the fullest extent of the law."

The stranger replied with one word: "lol."

"I want to make an example out of this kid," Hamilton said.

He recommends if you're going to be doing a sale with a stranger in the future, meet at a police safezone, don't go alone, verify the online profile of the buyer, and always record the transaction on video.

Hamilton said the man looked to be in his early-to-mid twenties.

He has a name and address and plans to link up with the Cape Coral Police Department to see if they can catch the man and prevent him from doing this again.

If you recognize him, call Cape Coral Police.