Two arrests have taken place in the craigslist murders after an ad on the popular listings site, linked to several armed robberies, lured a Southern California father and his son to a deadly meeting with two teenage game members in southern Los Angeles.
LAPD investigators confirmed the arrests on Monday, reporting that Ryan Roth, 17, and Markell Thomas, 18, were arrested late last week for the fatal shooting of Rene Balbuena near 92nd Street and Gramercy Place in South Los Angeles.
According to reports, the 41 year old father of two went with his son on Oct. 19 to respond to a craigslist ad for a $300 Samsung Galaxy.
He texted the suspects, who posted the ad, telling them that he was at the agreed location ready to carry out the transaction. However, Thomas then jumped into the backseat of Balbuena's car and held his 15 year old son at gunpoint, demanding property.
Balbuena then got out of the car and was shot multiple times by Roth, who was waiting outside the car, officials have described. The 15 year old suffered a non life threatening graze would, police have reported.
Police arrested Thomas on Oct. 24 and Roth was also arrested the next day. They are both believed to be part of Inglewood Bloods gang.
Investigators have said that at least 7 other similar incidents have taken place in the Baldwin Hills area between Aug. 2 and Oct. 7, all involving the same craigslist ad for the Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
Both suspects were charged by the LA County District Attorney's office Monday with one count each of murder, attempted murder, robbery with special circumstances and gang allegations.