Police arrest suspects with possible links to multi-city robberies

By: April Lehmbeck | Advertiser Times | Published January 28, 2015

HARPER WOODS — From the moment the call came into the Public Safety Department reporting an armed robbery at Subway on Kelly, officers started stringing together clues that led them to suspects who might be linked to robberies in multiple communities.

Two women were working at the Subway at about 7 p.m. Jan. 5 when a suspect armed with a rifle came in, pointed the weapon at the employees and threatened to shoot if they didn’t give him money from the register, according to information police released on Nixle.com.

A week later, public safety officers, with the assistance of the FBI Violent Crime Task Force, arrived at an Eastpointe home and took the robbery suspect and the alleged getaway driver from the Subway incident into custody.

“Detectives also located and recovered the rifle used in the robbery,” Public Safety Director James Burke stated in the Nixle.com release.

The suspects, Justin DaeJohn Barber, a 17-year-old Detroit resident, and Roderick Romell Wade-Walker, a 19-year-old Detroit resident, were charged with two counts of armed robbery. The alleged gunman faces a charge of felony firearm, as well. Barber, identified as the alleged gunman, is being held without bond, and the bond for Wade-Walker, the alleged getaway driver, was set at $50,000 by 32A District Court Judge Dan Palmer on Jan. 14.

It doesn’t appear that this will be the only court that the suspects will be visiting in the future.

“Both suspects are under investigation for similar robberies in Detroit, Eastpointe and Roseville,” Burke stated. 

This isn’t the first time Harper Woods police have brought in suspects whom the police believe were targeting multiple communities.

Burke said the department’s ability to track down suspects starts from the moment the call comes in with the work of the dispatch, patrol officers and detectives.

“The responding officers did a great job of gathering evidence,” Burke said. “Our detectives arrived on the scene, (and) soon after, we were able to identify possible suspects.

“We spent over a week developing the case,” he said.

“Our guys did a great job,” he added. “It’s a great team effort. It really is.”

He praised Lt. John Vorgitch, who leads the patrol unit, and Detective Lt. Ted Stager, who heads the detective bureau, whom he called “two outstanding people in those leadership roles.”

Police ask that anyone with information on the robberies call the Harper Woods Public Safety Department at (313) 343-2530 or Crime Stoppers at (800) SPEAK-UP.

At press time, the suspects did not have attorneys on file, according to the 32A District Court.