A Roxbury man is behind bars in lieu of $250,000 bail today, thanks to the tracking abilities of the iPhone he allegedly stole in a home invasion - and the records kept by the monitoring device he was wearing at the time - the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
Robert Heckstall, 29, is one of four men who allegedly burst into an apartment at 36 Maple St. on Jan. 29, holding the residents at gunpoint while they searched for valuables, the DA's office says.
One of the items Heckstall took was an iPhone. Police activated its iCloud tracking system and traced it to an address on Elm Hill Avenue:
They also obtained text messages that were being sent to that phone. The phone number of the phone sending messages to the stolen phone was registered to a person residing on Elm Hill Avenue.
Detectives traveled to the residence and knocked on the text message sender’s door. When a woman answered, police activated the stolen phone’s alarm and could hear it sounding from inside the apartment. When they asked whose phone it was, Heckstall - who was inside the apartment - allegedly stated, "That’s my phone."
The detectives at this point placed Heckstall under arrest and retrieved the phone. As they did so, they realized that Heckstall was wearing a GPS ankle bracelet because he was on probation following a 2½-year sentence for witness intimidation.
Heckstall told police he had an alibi for the time of the home invasion - he was at a girlfriend's place in Upham's Corner. But ankle-bracelet GPS data from the probation department showed "he was in the area of the home invasion at the time it was occurring," the DA's office says.
Heckstall was arraigned yesterday in Roxbury District Court on two counts each of armed assault in a dwelling, armed and masked robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and kidnapping, the DA's office reports.
Police are still looking for the other three suspects.