Cell Phone Thief Caught After Attempting Extortion

Man told victim he could buy his phone back for $150

By Matt Fitzpatrick
|  Tuesday, May 15, 2012  |  Updated 6:58 AM EDT
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Cell Phone Thief Caught After Attempting Extortion

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A 19-year-old man lost his phone on the University of Maryland campus on Sunday and was asked to pay $150 to get it back, according to campus police.

Campus police say the victim, who does not attend the school, contacted them Sunday evening after he lost his Droid X cell phone near the entrance of Charles Hall.

In an attempt to find it, the victim had used a friend’s phone to send a text message to his own phone asking if anyone had found it, said police.

Authorities say 30-year-old William Aparicio Villacorta responded to the message, telling the victim he could buy back his phone for $150.

An exchange with Villacorta was set up at a local business in College Park.

A plain-clothed campus police officer showed up at the meeting in place of the victim and arrested Villacorta after he showed the cell phone.

Villacorta faces charges of theft and extortion.

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