iPhone app helps solve Va. Beach robbery

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. (WAVY) — Two men suspected of robbing a Virginia Beach man over the weekend were caught in Richmond thanks to a mobile app.

The 19-year-old victim stayed Saturday night with a friend, and as he biked home Sunday morning in the Bay Colony neighborhood, he nearly lost his life.

“[The suspect] grabbed the bike with his left hand, and kicked it … he then threw the bike into the trees where I couldn’t reach for it,” said the victim, who doesn’t want to be identified.

Photos: Bay Colony armed robbery

Around 7:30 a.m., the victim and his friend were riding past a pump station on Bay Drive. The victim didn’t notice the car in the pump station driveway, but the friend noticed two guys standing outside the car and thought it looked odd. The two friends kept riding until Cavalier Drive splits with York Lane. At the fork, the friends split — one went down East Bay Shore Drive while the victim took York Lane.

That’s when the victim says a beige four-door car pulled in front of him and stopped, and a black male armed with a handgun exited the car and demanded the his backpack.

“I saw the the firearm, and he approached me in an aggressive way,” the victim said. “I saw the firearm in his right hand. It was an average looking pistol, and he was holding it down at his side.”

The suspect grabbed the backpack and wanted the victim’s iPhone 5, which was in the victim’s pocket. He was hesitant to give it up, and that is when the suspect put the gun to the victim’s chest.

“It was creepy to be wearing a t-shirt, and I could feel the roundness of the barrel on my chest … I could feel it was cold,” the victim said.

The suspect took off with the phone, a charger that was in the backpack, and a wallet. The wallet was thrown out the window a half-mile away.

Later that night, the victim used the “Find My iPhone” app, which used GPS to track where the phone was located.

“I used one of my friend’s phones and searched, and and it came up with an exact address,” the victim said. “The phone wasn’t moving and looked to be located at a house.”

That house is 7404 Wellington Woods Road in Henrico County. That information was given to police, who started tracking the phone too.

“The police actually plugged that [identification information] in and were following the GPS throughout the night,” the victim said.

A Virginia Beach detective called the family, and said they located the phone in a car at the address and had arrested two suspects: Deven Sykes, 19, of the 7400 block of Wellington Woods Road, Henrico County and Julian Crosby, 20, of the 12000 block of Grove Place, Chesterfield. Each were charged with conspiracy to commit a felony, use of a firearm and robbery.

The victim said he had no time to fear, it happened so quickly.

“I just didn’t want to disappoint the guy. That’s all,” he said.