Arraignment Today for Teen Suspected of Stealing Cell Phones from Pokemon Go Players

One of three teens suspected of stealing cell phones from Pokémon Go players in Long Beach last week is scheduled to be arraigned today.

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Long Beach resident Aroldo Josue Zavala, 18, is expected to appear at the Long Beach Courthouse after being charged with two felony counts of second-degree robbery, according to Sarah Ardalani of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Jonathan Reyes, who is 18 years old and also from Long Beach, has additionally been charged with two felony counts of second-degree robbery, Ardalani said. Reyes, who pleaded not guilty to the charges during a September 1 arraignment, is scheduled to return to court Friday for a pre-hearing conference, she added.

Arrona said police responded to a report of a strong arm robbery at 11:42PM on Tuesday, August 30, around the Pierpoint Landing sportfishing store, near the Lions Lighthouse where many Pokémon Go players are known to congregate because of its multiple Poké Stops and Poké Gyms.

According to investigators, the three defendants were suspected of being involved in two back-to-back robberies.

In the first incident, a man was playing Pokémon Go when a male suspect ran up, grabbed his cellphone and fled, Arrona said.

The victim then began to chase the suspect and called police. When the suspect joined two others, he stopped and brandished a knife, she said. The three suspects then ran off.

Shortly after, another man alerted other players that his phone was stolen and pointed out the fleeing suspect, according to Arrona.

“Players circled the suspect and detained him until police arrived,” she said. “The players also directed officers to the two other suspects nearby.” 

daryl delizo

Photo by Daryl Delizo via Facebook. 

It was unclear which suspect was held off by fellow players. 

Police arrested Reyes and Zavala and booked them each for robbery with a bail set at $50,000. They were transferred to the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The third suspect, identified only as a 17-year-old male from Long Beach, was taken to Los Padrinos Juvenile Detention where he was held for robbery and possession of narcotics for sale, according to Arrona.

Part of the incident was photographed and recorded by Pokémon Go players, who promptly related the information on a Facebook fan page

panda jeffrey ung

Photo by Panda Jeffrey Ung via Facebook. 

This is not the first case where Pokémon Go players in Long Beach have been victims of crime. In mid-August a homeless man was arrested and charged with hitting a teen playing Pokémon Go near the Pike Outlets. 



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