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Armenian Power gang members arrested for robbing Craigslist seller

Levon Iskandaryan (L), Mambreh Khachian (R)
August 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two documented gang members were arrested for robbing a victim during a meeting set up through an online for-sale posting on Craigslist. They later allegedly sold the stolen iPhone.

A 24-year-old Panorama City man advertised computer equipment for sale on Craigslist.org and met a potential buyer at a McDonald's at 9107 Van Nuys Blvd. on Saturday about 8 p.m.

Levon Iskandaryan, 23, approached the seller in the parking lot when he arrived. Iskandaryan saw the victim holding an iPhone 5 and reportedly lost interest in the laptop computer for sale, police said. Iskandaryan told the victim to walk toward a nearby car; he told the victim a man in the backseat was pointing a gun at him.

Mambreh Khachian, 33, was allegedly holding a gun inside a gray Toyota Solara. A third man was in the driver's seat. Iskandaryan took the victim's phone. The victim's clothing was caught in a car door as the vehicle departed, dragging the victim several feet, tearing his clothes and scraping his skin.

Iskandaryan and Khachian then allegedly contacted another person online who posted a want ad for an iPhone 5 on Craigslist. Iskandaryan and Khachian met the unwitting buyer at a Glendale Starbucks and were allegedly paid $350.

Police later traced the phone using its "ping" history to a house on the 7900 block of Hillrose Street in Sunland, where Iskandaryan lives with his parents. The gray Toyota Solara was parked outside, and Khachian was observed entering it and driving away. He was arrested, and Iskandaryan's house was searched without a warrant since he is on probation for other crimes. The iPhone was not found.

Iskandaryan and Khachian are documented Armenian Power street gang members, police said. Neither man identified the third alleged accomplice from earlier.

Police are still searching for the driver, described only as an Armenian man with a chrome bracelet and green eyes. Police said he was dropped off in North Hollywood after the robbery but before the phone was fenced.

Police are seeking the unwitting buyer of the stolen iPhone. They also believe there may be many more victims and unwitting buyers duped by the two suspects.

Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Mission Robbery detectives at (213) 838-9898. Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters "LAPD." Online tips may be placed at LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.

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