MERCED, Calif. - The power of social media helped lock up two armed robbery suspects. Authorities say Bryan Green and Gregory Lowery went on a robbery spree back in April 2016. Now both men have been sentenced to a combined 65 years in prison.
Merced County's Deputy District Attorney calls them nails in the coffin. Two clips posted on Instagram leading to heavy sentences.
A bold move on social media, showing off a handgun and a huge wad of cash. All of it posted on Instagram in April 2016. The key to the arrests of Gregory Lowery and Bryan Green.
"It gives you a very pinpoint location for whoever's using it. So they were able find them extremely easily at that point," said Deputy District Attorney Mathew Martinez.
Martinez says Instagram's location feature tipped off authorities to where Lowery was posting from in Sacramento. Just two days after Green and Lowery teamed up for an armed robbery spree. First the two men hit K&K Market on Main Street on the afternoon of April 11, stealing cash from the store clerk. 15 minutes later, they ended up at the U-Save market. Surveillance video shows Green force the store owner to the floor at gunpoint. Lowery also pulled out a pistol and ordered customers to the ground. The men take money from the register before heading to Super A Market in Winton, robbing another store for cash and putting fear into the family who owns the business.
"After all the kind of dust settles and the defendants have left. They sort of look around and the mother and son, they hug," said Martinez.
The son said off camera that new security cameras have been installed since the robbery and the owners are now armed. Green and Lowery were convicted of all three robberies in August. Martinez says it's more common to see social media help close cases like this one.
"You do see individuals of all ages now, documenting sometimes themselves committing crimes and certainly that's what Mr. Lowery was doing in this case," said Martinez.
Both Green and Lowery were sentenced last month. Green was ordered to serve 41 years and Lowery sentenced to 24 years.