Man Arrested After Allegedly Trying to Sell Back Stolen Items to Victim in Riverside

A 41-year-old Yucaipa man who allegedly burglarized a home on Thursday was arrested after he attempted to sell back the victim’s belongings but was met by police instead.

The residential burglary was reported in the 5600 block of Via Junipero Serra in Riverside, according to a news release from the Riverside Police Department.

Later, the victim reported getting text messages and phone calls from a person saying they would sell back his stolen property. The victim called police on Friday after receiving the messages.

Detectives took over the investigation, and after an exchange of text messages between the suspect and police posing as the victim, a meeting place was set in a parking lot in the 3000 block of Iowa, officials said.

Police planted the victim’s vehicle in the parking lot with an envelope on the dashboard with a small stack of papers cut to look like real money. The suspect was told to take the money from the unlocked vehicle and leave the stolen property in the car, authorities said.

Around 6:30 p.m., police said Jay Merrill went into the victim’s car and was arrested as he finished opening the envelope. Merrill was later booked on multiple felonies including extortion and possession of stolen property.

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