Gerald Rice was linked to an armed robbery in part because of the shirt he was wearing in this Facebook photo seen by detectives

Gerald Rice was linked to an armed robbery in part because of the shirt he was wearing in this Facebook photo seen by detectives (November 20, 2012)

Detectives solved a robbery of a Northeast Baltimore dollar store in part by comparing surveillance footage and a Facebook picture of the suspect that showed him wearing the same shirt. 

Federal prosecutors announced that Gerald Jerome Rice, 44, was sentenced to 15 years in prison Tuesday morning after pleading guilty to robbing the Family Dollar store in the 5300 block of Frankford Ave in November 2011. 

According to prosecutors, Rice entered the store and asked to use the bathroom. Told the store did not have a public bathroom, he pulled the employee into an office, pulled out a handgun and demanded money. He made off with $155 from the cash register, authorities say. 

The robbery was caught on tape, and police say several witnesses were able to identify Rice as the suspect, according to prosecutors. But detective also found Rice's Facebook page, where they located a picture of him wearing the same shirt that the suspect in the robbery was wearing in the surveillance footage. 

Rice was already on supervised release for a previous federal conviction for armed bank robbery. Records show he received 151 months in prison in that case, in 2001. 

jfenton@baltsun.com