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Armed robbery suspect charged with 12 felonies

A suspect was charged in Douglas County District Court Monday in connection with three recent armed robberies in Alexandria.

Michael Wayne Warren, 27, of Alexandria faces 12 felony counts, including four counts of first-degree aggravated robbery (three at stores and one in a store parking lot), three counts of kidnapping, three counts of false imprisonment, and two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree. (The charges were amended to include the parking lot robbery.) 

Bail was set at $1 million with no conditions, $600,000 with conditions or a bond of $750,000. His next court appearance is set for March 31.

Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels talked about the case at Monday night’s Alexandria City Council meeting.

He said that in his 30-year police career, the recent armed robberies rank right up there for creating fear and concern in the community. He credited citizens for coming together, being diligent and working with authorities.

The chief stressed that Warren, under the justice system, is innocent until proven guilty and that he will receive the due process he’s entitled to.

Wyffels said he was proud of the 10 law enforcement agencies that worked on the case, which included 50 to 60 detectives, police officers and other personnel.

He said the arrest wasn’t like making a “winning shot” in sports because there were “real lives and real situations” at stake.

After thanking all those who participated in the investigation, Mayor Sara Carlson asked Wyffels if he had an idea about how much the investigation cost.

Wyffels estimated it at between $20,000 and $30,000, so far.

Wyffels said that an “intense investigation” is still ongoing with authorities collecting evidence and building their case.

Agencies that worked on the case included the Alexandria Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Pope County Sheriff’s Office, Glenwood Police Department, West Central Drug Task Force, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Minnesota State Patrol.

Armed robberies were committed at Subway restaurant on February 23, Premiere Video on March 10 and Super America on March 18.

In each case, a white male suspect entered the store shortly before closing time when a young female clerk was working. The suspect, wearing a mask and gloves, was armed with a handgun and he bound the clerk before leaving the store.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Alexandria Police Department at (320) 763-6631. “Please continue to stay vigilant, and never hesitate to contact the Alexandria Police Department,” Wyffels said.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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