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Costa Mesa Police Department
Wednesday May 31st, 2017 :: 09:38 a.m. PDT


Man arrested for robbery after pepper spraying victim before fleeing with stolen goods

*Suspect connected to similar previous robbery

Incident/DR#: 17-7215 and 17-6439
Arrestee: Matthew Chima Udechukwu, 18, Costa Mesa
Arrest Charges: Two counts of robbery
Bail: $50,000

COSTA MESA, Calif. – The Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) arrested Udechukwu yesterday after he met a stranger under the guise of purchasing goods but instead pepper spraying the victim in the face before fleeing with stolen property.

At about 12:15 p.m. on May 30, 2017, CMPD officers responded to a report of a robbery that had just taken place. The 18-year-old male victim was selling a pair of designer shoes that he had advertised on a resale app, and Udechukwu had met with the victim to purchase the shoes. After inspecting the shoes, it is suspected that Udechukwu pepper sprayed the victim in the face, incapacitating him, and fled on foot with the stolen shoes.

CMPD officers quickly connected the suspect to a similar, previous incident that occurred on May 12, 2017. At about 12:48 p.m., CMPD officers had responded to the parking lot on the 1700 block of Adams Avenue, to take a report from a 24-year-old male victim, who was selling a backpack. The suspect in that incident had pepper sprayed the victim in the face before fleeing the scene with the victim’s backpack. During the investigation into that first incident, CMPD officers identified Udechukwu and obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s home, which officers served after the second incident.

At approximately 1:00 p.m. on May 30, 2017, CMPD officers went to Udechukwu’s residence at the 2700 block of Mesa Verde Drive East and established a perimeter and observation of his apartment. CMPD detectives subsequently arrived with the search warrant and after knocking on the door with no response and knowing the suspect was home, entry was forced into the apartment and Udechukwu was taken into custody for two counts of robbery. All stolen property was recovered during the search.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact Detective Chamness at (714) 754-5197.


Costa Mesa Police Department
99 Fair Dr
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 714-754-5252

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