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Police arrest man in connection with classified ad robberies

By Pat Reavy | Posted - Jul 26th, 2013 @ 7:06am

SALT LAKE CITY — A man who police say robbed victims using has been arrested.

Investigators believe they can link the man to a recent computer tablet robbery and a rare coin robbery, among other crimes.

Yousef Al-Wazzan, 28, was arrested Thursday and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of robbery and outstanding warrants.

On June 23, a man selling three 1882 Carson City silver dollars on thought he had found a potential buyer named Daniel. They arranged to meet at McDonald's, 5571 S. Redwood Road.

At the restaurant, "Daniel" took the coins — all encased in protective plastic — to a second man waiting in a vehicle, then told the seller that they didn't have enough money and needed to go to the bank.

The coin owner said he would hold onto the coins until they returned, but the men drove off.

On Wednesday, a woman selling a computer tablet on the same classifieds website met who she thought was a potential buyer, Daniel, at 535 E. 1700 South. As soon as the man asked to see the tablet, he took it and ran to a nearby waiting vehicle, according to Salt Lake police.

As soon as the man asked to see the tablet, he took it and ran to a nearby waiting vehicle, according to Salt Lake police.

Both Unified and Salt Lake police officers had been looking for Al-Wazzan after identifying him through surveillance photos. An officer found him Thursday at the Colonial Village Motel, 1530 S. Main Street, and arrested him.

Investigators said they believe Al-Wazzan can be linked to several other similar robberies, all using to find his victims. The search for his alleged accomplice continued Thursday.

No stolen property, including the rare coins, had been recovered as of Thursday.

In January, Al-Wazzan pleaded guilty to an amended charge of attempted drug possession, according to Utah state court records. He was sentenced to serve 180 days in jail and attend a drug treatment program.

In February, he pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony charge of drug possession from a 2012 case, in exchange for a second count and a misdemeanor theft charge to be dismissed. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail. An arrest warrant was issued in June when he violated his probation.

In 2012, Al-Wazzan pleaded guilty to attempted drug possession, a class A misdemeanor. He was originally sentenced to probation, but violated that and was ordered to serve 60 days in jail, according to court records.

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