DECATUR – A 26-year-old man who has served three prison sentences for drug convictions is facing additional prison time after he was arrested in connection with two armed robberies and a burglary.
Anthony R. Whitfield was arrested Feb. 1 after he was linked by a fingerprint to a burglary at a house on Woodland Avenue near Grand Avenue, which occurred two weeks earlier.
The owner of the house told police someone broke into her home through a bedroom window Jan. 17 and stole a flat-screen TV and prescription medications.
Decatur police detectives processed broken glass for latent fingerprints. Prints that were discovered were matched to Whitfield through a national database, said an affidavit by Decatur police Sgt. Shane Brandel.
The homeowner told police Whitfield was a friend of a friend, who had been in the house a week before the burglary. This was the only time Whitfield was in the house, the victim told police.
The mutual friend told police Whitfield had recently been committing residential burglaries and stealing flat-screen TVs.
Whitfield was arraigned Friday in Macon County Circuit Court on one count of residential burglary. He is being held in the jail on $200,000 bond.
Another associate of Whitfield's told police about his alleged armed robberies.
Robert Buford Smith, 35, was linked to armed robberies that occurred at two gas stations, Circle K, Woodford Street and Mound Road, on Jan. 8, and Huck's, 204 N. 22nd St., on Jan. 26, because of his white older model Ford Taurus.
In the Circle K incident, surveillance video shows a white car dropping off a suspect across the street just prior to the robbery. The vehicle then drives south to a nearby apartment complex. After the robbery, during which the masked suspect wielded a large knife and gained $50, he ran to that apartment complex.
Eighteen days later, a suspect held up Huck's with a knife, took cash from a register drawer and was then seen by a witness as he jumped into a white Taurus in a nearby alley. The witness told police the vehicle appeared to belong to someone the witness knew as Robert Smith.
When police contacted Smith, he “admitted to driving his white Ford Taurus for the robbery at the Circle K,” a police affidavit said. He also admitted picking Whitfield up after the Huck's incident but denied knowing about the robbery.
Smith was also arrested on armed robbery charges Thursday and booked into the Macon County Jail. He is free on bond, pending his arraignment March 7.
On Thursday, while he was in jail on the burglary charge, Whitfield was arrested on preliminary charges of armed robbery. He is due in court next week for his arraignment on armed robbery charges, and on Feb. 26 for a preliminary hearing for residential burglary.