Text message lures teen into ambush

Receiving a text message from a friend’s cell phone turned into a trap for a young man recently.

South San Francisco police are looking for a group of men who stole one victim’s cell phone last weekend and used it to text message another man to lure him into a meeting place.

South San Francisco police said 19-year-old Ivan Hidalgo of San Bruno received a phone call from his brother early Sunday morning informing him that he had been robbed in San Bruno. Minutes later, Hidalgo received a text message from his brother asking to meet him at Brentwood Bowl at 237 El Camino Real in South City. Sgt. Joni Lee said the victim thought his brother was in need of help.

When Hidalgo arrived, however, he was immediately accosted by four Hispanic men wearing white tank top-style undershirts, Lee said.

Lee said the suspects asked Hidalgo who he was looking for and when he told them he was looking for his brother, they punchedhim and took his iPhone, valued at $400.

Lee said the method of the robbery was unusual.

“If they are targeting phones and they are text messaging other people, it’s getting in a different arena I’ve never heard of before,” she said.

The suspects were not seen carrying any weapons, according to police.

Lee said the robbery victims were not associated with any gang and did not know the suspects.

The suspects were last seen getting into a dark champagne-colored sedan with tinted windows, police said.

They are described as Hispanic men in their late teens or early 20s, wearing white tank tops and black pants. One of the suspects had a pony tail and a tattoo on his right shoulder.

svasilyuk@sfexaminer.com

LocalUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Plummeting Bay Area bridge traffic finally levels off

All told, weekday Bay Area traffic volumes are down by half, which has remained consistent from March 23 through this week.

Second deputy at SF Hall of Justice jail tests positive as inmate count shrinks

Doctor says inmate count needs to fall further to mitigate potential outbreak

Breed pushes volunteer opportunities to help isolated seniors as coronavirus spreads

Seniors and those living with disabilities are most susceptible to severe impacts of the coronavirus and are advised to remain home.

Confusion swirls over uneven eviction protections as rent collection begins

Housing advocates warn some type of rental assistance or forgiveness will be necessary

National Guard sets up hospital beds at San Mateo County Event Center

The triage center is intended as backup if COVID-19 cases surge in the coming weeks

Most Read