Two men appeared in court Thursday in connection with a carjacking on the Northside, and police said their arrest was thanks to the help of some technology.
Officers said Tony Martin Jr. held the victim outside a convenience store Wednesday and took off in their car. Kenyul Day jumped in the car with him but they didn't get very far, police said.
Investigators said the car's GPS system helped them to track down the suspects at Jacksonville International Airport, and airport police arrested them on the bottom floor of a parking garage.
The 10-mile chase ended by the rental car drop-off lot.
A security guard for Avis Car Rental said he saw the suspects drive into the garage in a new model Black Nissan Altima.
"When I first saw them they were driving very slowly through the return area," the witness named Kyle said. "I was smoking a cigarette. They really passed within a few feet of me, backed the car near the wall and bailed out. I saw them running and that is when the Jacksonville Aviation Authority police apprehended the suspects."
Jacksonville police said the search began about 4 p.m. The victim told police he was leaving Soutel Food Mart when Martin (on left in two suspects' booking photos) held one of them at gunpoint, demanded his keys and then drove off.
Investigators said they used the stolen car's GPS system, a tool Michael Knox, a forensic consultant and former police officer, said is a valuable piece of technology.
"Apparently what happened in this case is that there was a GPS tracking device that was in the vehicle," Knox said. "Police were able to access that and get real-time information as to where the vehicle was, which allowed them to use their resources: the air unit, the K9 officers in place."
Channel 4 crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson said the victim was right in complying with the suspects' demands.
"Give them your car. That's why you carry insurance," Jefferson said. "It's the safest thing to do because you want to survive that incident."
Martin is charged with armed robbery, while Day is charged with possession of marijuana. Both suspects have numerous previous felony arrests.