Text messages help police arrest suspected getaway driver in Boca Raton mugging

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- And this is why you don't send text messages about robberies you've committed.

A getaway driver sought in the April 12 mugging of two elderly women in Boca Raton was nabbed Thursday after cops executed a search warrant on his accomplice's iPhone, police said.

Among the gems of data unearthed by investigators on accused mugger Adam Bardisa's cell phone were texts to his alleged driver Michael Nicholas Russo, 19. In them, Bardisa, also 19, talks of his own mom seeing surveillance footage on the TV news of him robbing the two victims, who were 84 and 96 years old.

"Yo how bout my mom just me on the news on a scooter robbing 2 old ladies and there opening an investigation...Bro wtf!", read the text, dated April 19.

Russo's response was instructive.

"Yo you were guna be going to newyork very soon n----- u gota stay far away from police bruh and another thin if either of us get arrested don't say s--- bout me and I Wont say s--- bout u either and delete all those texts that have anything to with it rite now."

"Already did," Bardisa replied.

He must've forgot.

One the victims suffered broken ribs in the purse-snatching, which happened in the Publix parking lot at 9886 Glades Rd. in Boca Raton.

It was Bardisa's own parents who ID'd him to police after the video aired. He was arrested April 23 and charged.

After Bardisa's arrest, police went to work in an effort to track down his getaway driver.

They executed a search warrant on Bardisa's phone, finding not only the texts but a photo of Bardisa sitting in Russo's gold Cadillac with 34 $20 bills spread out on his lap. It was seven minutes after the robbery, according to the picture's time stamp.

One of the victims had told police that her stolen purse had contained $1,200 in cash, police said.

Russo tried to tell police that had nothing to do with the robbery, that Bardisa had called him for a pick-up and that when Russo showed up, Bardisa came running to the car shouting 'go! go! go!'

Police checked Russo's cell phone records and found that his phone's signal originated from the Publix parking lot beginning at 3:12 p.m., 68 minutes before the robbery.

"Hurry n---- right wen he leaves," Russo texted Bardisa at 2:41 p.m., about 40 minutes before the robbery, according to the arrest report.

"I gotta wait a min some dude she knows stopped and is talking to her," Bardisa texted back, about seven minutes later.

Russo, of Boca Raton, is charged with strong arm robbery, aggravated battery on a person over 65 years of age and accessory after the fact. He was still in custody Friday.