A California man accused of pulling a sweetheart scam by luring women through dating apps and then stealing from them was busted in a sting operation, Riverside police said Tuesday.
Perris resident Oscar Mandujano-Quinonez, 29, was arrested on grand theft and booked into jail Monday.
Riverside police accused Mandujano-Quinonez, who goes by the nickname Manny, of meeting women through dating apps like "Meetup" before stealing their purses. Officials added that Mandujano-Quinonez later listed victims' belongings online for sale.
It's not clear if Mandujano-Quinonez has an attorney.
In November, he met a woman through the app and they decided to get together in a local park. He allegedly invited the woman to sit in his car. Once she set her purse down inside the silver Saturn, police said he asked her to step out.
Once she got out, the victim said he sped off with her purse.
Police began investigating this incident and discovered he was wanted in connection with a similar theft in Moreno Valley during the summer.
Investigators said there are at least five victims. But after searching the suspect’s home in Perris, they found evidence of more victims.
One of the women, who wished not to be identified, said she met Mandujano-Quinonez in October.
"The first date I didn't bring my purse, so I think that's why I'm the only one who's had a second date because everybody else had their purses the first time," she said. "I didn't. I almost didn't take it the second time, but I did."
The woman said Mandujano-Quinonez parked near orange groves and asked her to get out of his car, claiming he had engine trouble. Then she said he took off with her purse and phone.
The victim said she’s concerned after learning he bailed out of jail Tuesday afternoon.
"That's a very big worry that we have, especially those of us that he knows where we live because he knows now that we are banding together to prosecute him," she said. "Now my family is in jeopardy as well."
Police are asking anyone who may have been victimized to give them a call at 951-235-7863.