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Police Seek Man Who They Say Stole iPhone From Teen Who Died After Trying To Recover It

SANTA ANA ( — Police Tuesday were searching for a man who attempted to steal a cellphone from a teenager who died from injuries she received while trying to recover it, authorities said.

KCAL9's Stacey Butler reports that the man confronted Rubi Rubio, 15, who was walking July 3 with her 7-year-old sister near 1000 W. Warner Ave. in Santa Ana.

After taking her iPhone, he fled to a light gray or silver Pontiac vehicle nearby that was being driven by an unknown person, Santa Ana police said.

As the vehicle started driving away, the girl jumped on the trunk and held on briefly before falling off. She was in critical condition and died of her injuries July 5, according to authorities.

Rubi's mother said it was unlike her daughter to respond in such an aggressive manner, but because she'd broken two phones in the past, she might have acted because she was afraid would be in trouble for losing or damaging a third.

The iPhone was recovered, but police are seeking witnesses of the incident.

The man was described as Hispanic in his late 20s to early 30s, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10 with a medium build. He was last seen wearing a black baseball cap, white tank top and light-colored jeans.

Anyone with information about the identity of the man suspected in the theft attempt or the incident was asked to contact the Homicide Unit at 714-245-8390 or OC Crime Stoppers 1-855-TIP-OCCS.

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