Accused rapists tripped up by calls

Cops trace stolen cells to phones in Delaware, Md.

A Common Pleas jury yesterday learned how police found the men accused of the rapes of two young women in their Port Richmond home last summer and of the pistol-whipping of the boyfriend of one of them.

It had to do with cell phones.

And an accomplice who spilled their names.

Authorities say that cousins Jacoby Robinson, 21, and Labrente Robinson, 29, both of Wilmington, raped a Temple University student, then 21, and her roommate, a 25-year-old Temple grad, in their two-story, red-brick house on Salmon Street near Cumberland, in the early hours of July 15. The two men allegedly followed the younger woman and her boyfriend into the house.

When the men left the house, they allegedly fled in the boyfriend's Cadillac. Among the things they allegedly stole were the victims' cell phones.

Yesterday, at Jacoby Robinson's trial, police Detective Brian Peters testified that immediately after the attacks were reported, police contacted the victims' cell-phone companies for records.

The assailants had used the older woman's phone soon after the attacks, repeatedly calling a Maryland number, then a Delaware number, Peters said.

Authorities traced the Delaware number to a phone used by Latisha Brown, who lived in New Castle, Del. Brown was Labrente Robinson's girlfriend.

Meanwhile, authorities tracked the location of the younger woman's phone, which had a global-positioning system in it, to Brown's home.

As for the Maryland number, it was discovered to be a cell phone registered to Phillip Price's mother. Price, 22, of Salisbury, Md., was as of midday Thursday, a codefendant in the trial with Jacoby Robinson. However, he decided to plead guilty to three counts and testified for the prosecution.

Price testified Thursday that he had the Maryland cell phone at his grandmother's house in Wilmington, where he was staying. He also testified to going to Philadelphia in the early morning of July 15 with his half-brother Labrente Robinson and their cousin Jacoby Robinson "to rob someone."

The three followed a Cadillac from the Zee Bar near Delaware Avenue to Port Richmond, where Price dropped the Robinsons off, then drove away, according to Price's testimony.

Detective James Owens of the special victims unit testified yesterday that police had been led to Price because of the phone number traced to his mother's name and also because Latisha Brown's phone had called another cell phone Price had.

Owens got in contact with Price and interviewed him twice. In a July 18 statement, Price gave up Jacoby Robinson's name as someone who might be involved in the case, Owens said. In a second interview the next day, Price gave up Labrente Robinson's name.

With the assistance of Wilmington police, Jacoby and Labrente Robinson were then taken into custody, Owens testified.

The jury also learned yesterday that Labrente Robinson has pleaded guilty to charges of rape, conspiracy, aggravated assault, robbery and related offenses. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 19 by Judge Leon Tucker, who is presiding over Jacoby Robinson's trial. *