A Decatur, Ga., man received a life sentence Monday for his alleged role in an armed robbery of a dollar store and the kidnapping of a worker in 2014.
What lead police to link him with the crime? Instagram.
Adam Gober, then 25, and Rodriguez Walker allegedly entered a Dollar General on Thornton Road in Lithia Springs late at night on May 13, 2014, according to the Douglas County District Attorney's Office. There were two workers in the store - a cashier and night manager.
After waiting in line, Gober allegedly placed a case of Coke Zero on the counter, then pulled out a gun and demanded all the money in the register and safe, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“He produced the gun and told her he was going to kill her. Both of these clerks were terrified,” said Douglas County Police Lt. James Harrell told WSB-TV.
One of the clerks had been nervous about the man, and had already called a deputy to come over. But by then police say Gober made his move and told the clerk she needed to pretend she was his girlfriend or he would kill her, reported the Douglas County Sentinel.
“The clerk starts to give him the money out of the till and out of the safe,” Investigator Trent Wilson told the paper.
After the deputy left, police say Gober and Walker, who had been acting as a lookout, let the cashier go but forced the 19-year-old manager into a car at gunpoint and told her to drive.
“The victim testified at trial that she knew if she got on (I-20) she would end up dead,” Douglas County assistant district attorney David Emadi said, according to the AJC. “So she decided to turn into the Burger King just before the I-20 off-ramp so there would be video if he killed her.”
There, police say she pleaded for her life and begged to be released.
They let her go and drove away.
Then, a few hours later, Walter apparently posted a photo of himself along with a bundle of cash on the photo-sharing site Instagram. The clerk, who had coincidentally been following him online but didn't know him, saw it and called police after recognizing his clothing.
"Obviously, Rodriguez Walker is wearing the same shirt with a large amount of U.S. currency in photo," Lt. Harrell told WSB-TV.
After issuing subpoenas for records from Instagram, investigators realized the suspects were already in the DeKalb County Jail.
Gober was identified in a photo lineup by both workers, and Rodriguez pleaded guilty as a lookout and getaway driver and provided testimony, the DA's office said.
Gober was charged with two counts of armed robbery, one count of kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault, and two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony
Assistant district attorney Emadi said in a release on Facebook that Gober is a "menace to society" and that "unless he is behind bars he will continue to be a threat to the safety and well-being of anyone he may come into contact with no matter where he goes."
On Jan. 12, Gober was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years after the jury discussed the case for about 50 minutes, the DA's office said. The judge took into account Gober's criminal record, which reportedly includes sentences for robbery in Las Vegas and Clayton County.