Teen Dies Trying to Get iPhone Back From Mugger

Ruby Rubio had promised her mom she'd take care of new phone

By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 9, 2014 2:52 AM CDT | Updated Jul 9, 2014 7:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – Just a week after 15-year-old Ruby Rubio got an iPhone and promised her mother she'd treat the prized possession with care, a mugger snatched it from the girl while she was walking her 7-year-old sister home from school. The teen from Santa Ana, Calif., gave chase and managed to jump on top of the trunk of the getaway car, a gray or silver Pontiac that had been waiting nearby, and hold on to the antenna, reports KCAL9. But when the car swerved she was thrown off and hit her head. She suffered severe head trauma and died at the hospital two days later, on Saturday.

Though police have yet to find the mugger, described as a 5-foot 10-inch Hispanic man in his early 20s to early 30s, the phone was recovered nearby; police think it was tossed from the car, NBC Los Angeles reports. What may have been Ruby's last word: "mom." Says her mother, "She only opened her eyes, looked at me for like five seconds and said 'mom' and that was the last word I heard from her." She says her daughter earned the phone by doing well in school, and that Ruby may have worried her mom would be mad about the stolen phone since she'd broken two other phones already, reports the New York Daily News. The teen is far from the first to die while trying to retrieve a cell phone: examples here, here, and here.

The robber is described as a Hispanic man in his late 20s to early 30s, roughly 5 feet 10 inches tall, and wearing a white tank top, light jeans, and black baseball hat.   (Santa Ana police)
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