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Suspect charged in spate of armed robberies

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published January 17, 2020

 Raymond Whatley

Raymond Whatley

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WARREN — A man suspected in a series of armed robberies in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties has been formally charged with two in Warren.

Raymond Whatley, 26, of Westland, was arraigned before Judge John Chmura in the 37th District Court Jan. 10 on armed robbery and felony weapons charges tied to two separate thefts from Warren businesses in December.

Whatley, who was paroled in August after serving 6 1/2 years in prison for a prior armed robbery conviction, allegedly robbed the Family Dollar store on Eight Mile Road, west of Mound Road, Dec. 12, and the Check ’n’ Go store on Hoover Road, south of 10 Mile Road, Dec. 17. Police also believe he was responsible for similar robberies in Detroit Dec. 12; in Taylor, St. Clair Shores and Pontiac Dec. 30; and in Sterling Heights Jan. 2.

Warren police arrested Whatley at his apartment in Westland Jan. 7 and had his vehicle towed to the Christopher M. Wouters Police Headquarters, where it was searched for evidence after a warrant was obtained.

Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer called Whatley a “serial armed robber” and a “career criminal.” He said previously that Whatley apparently felt “comfortable” returning to rob “vulnerable” stores, including at least two that he went to prison for robbing in 2013.

“He’s got a whole history of robberies on his first conviction that sent him away for 30 years,” Dwyer said. “He served 6 1/2 years and is now back at it.”

Chmura set bail for Whatley at $250,000 in each of the two armed robbery cases. The charge is punishable by a maximum penalty of life in prison. Whatley remained held in the Macomb County Jail at press time ahead of his next court appearance in Warren, a probable cause conference scheduled for 8:45 a.m. Jan. 23.

Defense attorney Mark Haddad, appointed by the court to represent Whatley, scolded the police for potentially tainting the pool of jurors by labeling Whatley a “career criminal” before the new charges are adjudicated. Beyond that, Haddad said he was just assigned the case and that it was too early to comment on the specifics.

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