Costco parking lot in Chula Vista was scene of incident that led to man's arrest.
Costco parking lot in Chula Vista was scene of incident that led to man’s arrest. Image via Google Maps

A man who allegedly pulled a gun and tried to mug another man after meeting him in a Chula Vista parking lot on the pretense of buying jewelry from him was behind bars Wednesday.

Albert Molina, 30, was arrested Tuesday evening following a scuffle during which the 23-year-old alleged victim snatched away his firearm, fired off a shot and held him at gunpoint while calling 911, according to police.

Before the violent confrontation, Molina and the younger man had communicated via OfferUp, an online service that facilitates private sales of used goods, said Lt. Dan Peak.

Meeting the victim outside a Costco store in the 1100 block of Broadway, Molina agreed to buy the gold chain the man was selling and gave him a money order to supposedly pay for it. The pair then tried to cash the check, but found that it was no good, according to police.

“The victim asked for his chain back, which the suspect was already wearing,” Peak said. “The suspect refused and pulled out a gun.”

At that point, the two men, who by then were sitting in Molina’s car, wrestled over the gun, with the victim ending up with it as he fell out of the vehicle. Believing that Molina was going to run him over, the victim fired a round in his direction, then held him at gunpoint while summoning the police.

Patrol officers who arrived in the area shortly after 7:30 p.m. in response to the reported robbery attempt and gunfire took both men into custody. After being interviewed by detectives, the victim was released and Molina was booked into San Diego Central Jail.

No injuries were reported.

— City News Service