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Armed robber, identified by facial recognition technology, gets 22 years

Pierre Martis first persarrested Chicago using new facial recognitisoftware. | Provided

Pierre Martin is the first person arrested in Chicago using new facial recognition software. | Provided

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Updated: July 7, 2014 6:31AM

Every time he looks into a mirror in prison, Pierre D. Martin can blame his face for putting him behind bars.

Martin, 35, was the first person arrested due to facial recognition technology that the Chicago Police Department started using last year.

His face was linked to two CTA holdups, Cook County prosecutors said.

After a bench trial in May, Judge Maura Slattery Boyle found Martin guilty of a February 2013 robbery. This week, she sentenced Martin to 22 years in prison.

“This case is a great example that these high-tech tools are helping to enhance identification and lead us to defendants that might otherwise evade capture,” Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said in a statement.

The judge found Martin guilty of robbing a 20-year-old man listening to music on headphones on a Pink Line train on Feb. 9, 2013.

Martin, a convicted felon, approached the victim from behind, pulled a gun and demanded his cell phone. When the train began rolling out of the station in the 1900 block of South Kostner, Martin jumped out and escaped, prosecutors said.

Martin stole a phone from another man at gunpoint on Jan. 28, 2013, at the same Pink Line stop, prosecutors said.

CTA surveillance cameras captured photos of Martin in both of the robberies. His photo was compared to the department’s 4.5 million criminal booking shots and he ranked No. 1 among possible matches, officials said.

Witnesses later identified him in photo lineups.

After he was convicted of the February 2013 robbery, he pleaded guilty to the other holdup. He won’t have to serve additional time for that crime.

Martin’s mug shot was in the police database because of his long arrest record. In 2009, he was sentenced to three years in prison for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and received probation in 2006 for possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

Martin was identified in the 2013 robberies through NeoFace technology the department bought with a $5.4 million federal grant.

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