By Brian Maass
DENVER (CBS4) – A man suspected of holding up five 7-Eleven stores at gunpoint is in jail after authorities concluded he wore his law enforcement-issued GPS ankle monitor to at least one of the robberies.
“You don’t believe they will do something like that knowing they have a GPS device”, said Stephanie Grossman, an Arapahoe County pretrial release officer. She’s credited with connecting the dots that led to the arrest of Lawrence Lowe.
“It feels good. I did the right thing. I wouldn’t have changed anything”, Grossman told CBS4.
As a pretrial release officer, Grossman supervises about 132 defendants, trying to keep them from going back to jail. She meets with them, monitors sobriety and sends reports to judges and the courts.
Every day, she gets an estimated 10 to 15 law enforcement bulletins from various police investigators, hunting for suspects in unsolved cases.
”I look through them when I have down time,” Grossman said.
On April 2, near the end of her work day, she happened to be looking at a robbery bulletin from the Denver Police department highlighting the 7-Eleven robberies. It contained a surveillance photo of the suspect, wearing a black bandana covering part of his face, with his hand on a semi-automatic handgun.
Although little of his face was visible, Grossman said “I immediately recognized the eyes. My heart started beating fast and I thought ‘No, no.'”
She thought it looked like a defendant who she had met with four or five times and had seen earlier that day — Lawrence Lowe who was already in trouble on previous robbery charges.
”His demeanor has always been very kind, friendly. He always called me ‘Miss,’” she said.
Grossman noticed that one of the robberies occurred March 10 at 4:10 a.m. at a Denver 7-Eleven store. She remembered she had assigned Lowe, 21, to wear a GPS ankle monitor around that time.
She quickly accessed a database that allowed her to see where Lowe’s GPS unit was on March 10, early in the morning. She said the data showed Lowe’s tracker was at that 7-Eleven at that time and on that date.
“Unbelievable. I didn’t believe it. Adrenaline rush. My heart started beating. I just tried to stay calm and collected,” she said.
Grossman also compared a file photo her office had taken of Lowe against the surveillance photos. She noticed Lowe and the suspected armed robber were wearing similar clothing — a gray hoodie and a black jacket.
She contacted the Denver police detective and shared what she had found. By the next day, based on Grossman’s work, Denver police had an arrest warrant for Lowe and were following him, relaying to Grossman what they were doing.
They stopped Lowe and arrested him in Aurora.
“They found him at a 7-Eleven parking lot,” said Grossman.
Inside his Jeep, police reported they found a Glock 9mm handgun and a Ruger .380 handgun along with 30 live rounds of 9mm ammunition and 10 live rounds of 380 caliber ammo. They also said they found gray gloves. The 7-Eleven gunman had worn gray gloves in at least two of the holdups.
Grossman said in her eight years as a pretrial release officer, she has never experienced anything like this.
“It was very exciting. I had an adrenaline rush for the next two days. It was surreal. You don’t want to believe it, but its right there in front of your face.”
Her supervisor, Brad Kamby, told CBS4, “I was proud of her. She noticed something and notified law enforcement right away. It appears to me she did prevent something from happening in the future.’
Lowe is currently being held on numerous charges — including armed robbery — at the Denver jail.