Riverside Police: Undercover Operation Leads to Arrest

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File photo of an LAPD patrol car. (Credit: Chris Yarzab/flickr via Creative Commons)

Riverside police said Saturday that they used fake money hidden in a victim’s car to lure an alleged residential burglar to a busy parking lot, subsequently arresting him.

A residential burglary in the 5600 block of Via Junipero Serra (map) was reported to police on Thursday, according to a City of Riverside press release.

The suspect communicated through text messages and phone calls Friday that he would sell the victim back his own property.

Following police instruction, the victim agreed to leave an undisclosed amount of money in his vehicle in a busy parking lot in the 3000 block of Iowa Avenue (map) for the suspect.

When the alleged burglar arrived to collect the fake money from the victim’s unlocked vehicle around 6:30 p.m Friday he was arrested, the press release stated.

Jay Merrill, 41, was booked for multiple felonies including extortion and possession of stolen property.

The Yucaipa resident had an extensive criminal history.

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