Authorities in Orange County are warning motorists to be aware of two different types of scams targeting drivers, one of which involves a dangerous crash-and-grab style robbery similar to an incident captured on cameras on the 10 Freeway in Los Angeles in late October.
According to officials at California Highway Patrol, thieves staged another crash-and-grab robbery on Nov. 14 at the Beach Boulevard onramp to the northbound 405 Freeway near the Huntington Beach-Westminster border.
The staged collision involved two suspect vehicles — a maroon Infiniti SUV and a white Ford Explorer.
“Several suspects, dressed in dark clothing and wearing masks, approached the victim’s vehicle, robbed the victim at gunpoint of U.S. currency, jewelry, and fled the scene in the white Ford Explorer,” a CHP news release stated.
Investigators told KTLA’s Orange County Bureau Chief Chip Yost that there have been several such cases in the last few years and that the targets of these violent robberies appear to be connected to the jewelry industry.
Meanwhile, the Irvine Police Department is investigating a different type of motorist being targeted for robberies.
“What we’re finding is victims responding to a wanted ad on Facebook Marketplace asking for drivers or asking to borrow a vehicle,” Kyle Oldoerp, with Irvine PD, told KTLA.
In some cases, victims are told that they will be delivering a large sum of cash to a location in Bakersfield. Two of these incidents, including one on Nov. 13, involved people being asked to meet the person allegedly hiring them for the job at a shopping center near Walnut Avenue and Culver Drive.
“The suspect gets into the vehicle, offers them between $6,000 and $12,000 to drive to Bakersfield with the money,” Oldoerp explained. “They tell the victim they have to go to another location to pick up the money and once they’re inside the car and sure that they’re not being followed, they then carjack the victim.”
Anyone with information regarding the Facebook Marketplace scam is urged to contact detectives at the Irvine Police Department at 949-724-7011.
As for the crash-and-grab in Orange County, CHP asks that those who may have witnessed the incident or who may have information contact CHP Border Division Investigative Services, Major Crimes Unit at 657-391-4017 or Investigator Joaquin Gill at 714-240-3754.