Wilmer Velazquez, who lists East Boston and South Boston addresses, was arraigned on a charge of armed robbery after he allegedly stole a 15-year-old teen's phone at knifepoint, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
Velazquez, 19, was ordered held in lieu of $5,000 bail at his arraignment in East Boston District Court, the DA's office says.
Prosecutors say his victim was playing with her yournger brother in the playground at Bremen Street Park in East Boston around 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 18 when two guys came up to her:
One suspect drew a knife and told her in Spanish to hand over everything she had, making off with the victim's myTouch phone and $15 in cash, prosecutors said.
The victim reported the theft to T-Mobile but waited until Oct. 23 to go to Boston Police. On that day, she received a replacement phone from T-Mobile and used it to log on to Facebook, prosecutors said. When she did, she found that the same male who robbed her of her cell phone had used it – apparently accidentally – to post photos of himself to her Facebook account.
Boston Police detectives disseminated the photos to other law enforcement agencies in hopes of identifying the suspect. Within a day, Velasquez was identified by a MassPort Police sergeant, a Boston Police detective, and a Chelsea District Court probation officer.
In a statement, DA Dan Conley said that while social media has created new challenges for law enforcement, "every now and then, though, it makes our job much, much easier."