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Police use 'Find My Phone' app to find suspects in kidnapping, robbery

Police use 'Find My Phone' app to locate suspects in kidnapping, robbery (Horry County Detention Center photos; WPDE background)

Local police have arrested two men in connection with a kidnapping and robbery thanks to the help of the "Find My Phone" app.

According to a Myrtle Beach Police Department incident report, around 3 a.m. on May 10, two men in a burgundy Honda Accord approached the victim, who was on foot on North Ocean Boulevard.

The victim said the car passed him multiple times and, at one point, the passenger exited the car and the driver resumed driving.

Moments later, the driver made a u-turn, returning to the area of the victim.

The former passenger approached the victim, saying, "Where the weed at?" The victim responded with, "I don't know."

According to the victim, the men then asked the victim to ride with them to show them how to get to a store.

The victim climbed into the vehicle and instructed them in how to get to a local gas station.

After locating the gas station and buying two cigarettes and a cigar, the men returned to the car with the victim.

The victim then asked to be taken back to Ocean Boulevard.

The driver began to leave the gas station and stopped at a red light. During the stop, the victim asked to leave the car and return to "the strip" on foot.

The victim said he tried to exit the car, but the driver would not allow him to do so.

As the car continued moving, one of the men took out a gun and began to assault the victim in the car.

According to the victim, one of the men beat the victim with his hands and the gun, then took the victim's phone.

The victim said he was finally let out of the car near the Autozone on Highway 501, the incident report said.

He said the men told him to walk straight and not look back while one of the men pointed the gun at him, threatening, "I'ma shoot you."

Following his release from the vehicle, the victim flagged down a police officer near 9th Avenue North and Chester Street.

The responding officer noted that the victim was out of breath and had a cut beside him left eye that appeared to be fresh.

When the victim explained to the officer that the men had taken his cell phone, the officer obtained the victim's "Find My Phone" log-in information, accessed the app, and tracked the victim's phone.

The app allowed officers to track the phone as it was moved to the Walmart on Seaboard Street.

Other officers were brought in to perform surveillance of the Walmart parking lot, where they found the men and the Honda Accord.

The offenders were detained and a "show up" was conducted, wherein the victim was allowed to see the offenders in order to positively identify them.

The victim was able to identify the men immediately. He was also able to provide information about items in the car's backseat, providing a positive identity for it as well.

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