VISTA–San Diego County Crime Stoppers and Sheriff’s department investigators are asking for the public’s help to locate an unknown suspect wanted in connection with an armed robbery that occurred in unincorporated Vista.
On December 3, a San Marcos resident met with two individuals in the unincorporated area of Vista, near Gopher Canyon Road, to complete a sale of a used cell phone. The sale was negotiated over a popular phone app between the victim and potential buyer. When the victim arrived at the agreed meeting location, the first suspect entered the victim’s vehicle, took the victim’s keys from the ignition, and pointed a handgun at the victim. The suspect demanded the victim’s phone, wallet, and any other valuables. During the course of the robbery the suspect noticed the victim’s 4 and 5-year-old children in the backseat of the vehicle playing on their own cell phones. He stole their phones also before exiting the vehicle.
The second suspect opened the victim’s trunk and stole recently purchased gifts. The suspects eventually left the location with the victim’s keys, discarding them a distance away.
Sheriff’s detectives from Vista’s Street Narcotics and Gang Detail, along with Vista’s Gang Enforcement Team, identified the first suspect as 27-year-old suspected gang member Brian Chase. He was arrested on December 12 and a search of his apartment was conducted where detectives found stolen property from the robbery. Chase is facing a trial and is being held without bail at the Vista Detention Facility.
The second suspect has not been identified. He is described as a Hispanic male.
Anyone with information regarding the identity of the second suspect is asked to call the San Diego County Sheriff’s Vista Station at (760) 940-4551 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477. Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $1,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest in this case. Information on how to send anonymous emails and mobile app tips can be found on our website www.sdcrimestoppers.org.