Michael Wayne Warren’s past sex crimes led to his arrest for three armed robberies in Alexandria, according to the criminal complaint filed Monday in Douglas County District Court.
Investigators, knowing that the robbery suspect sexually assaulted female clerks in two of the robberies, began interviewing registered predatory offenders in the area, which led them to Warren.
Warren was convicted in 2008 of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in Big Stone County in 2002 and is on probation.
When they interviewed him at his residence at 411 Elm Street last week, officers noticed that Warren was “very nervous,” walked backwards away from them and into a bedroom, according to the complaint.
Officers saw two $100 bills on a table, and a dark-colored jacket, which had “currency coming out of the pockets,” according to the complaint.
When asked about his whereabouts on the nights of the robberies, Warren said he was working on two of the nights and was with a friend moving into his new residence at the time of the other incident.
Officers later learned from his employer that Warren wasn’t working those nights and that he had only moved one bed during the afternoon of the third crime.
Officers talked to a former girlfriend of Warren’s who told them that he had a distinct walk as a result of an injury that happened when he was in the Navy. The robber shown on surveillance cameras has the same kind of walk, a pronounced outstep, according to authorities.
Officers also focused on the voice of the robbery suspect, which was recorded at one of the stores. Warren’s probation officer listened to the recording and identified the voice as Warren’s, according to the complaint.
Other surveillance video images showed a red-colored Dodge Durango traveling near two of the robbery sites, Subway and Super America, at the time of the crimes. Warren told officers that his vehicle was a red Dodge Durango.
Warren was arrested on Friday, March 21.
After obtaining a warrant, investigators searched Warren’s cell phone and found a video, believed to have been downloaded from a porn site on March 14, that depicts a male with a mask and handgun going into an apartment, threatening a woman and raping her.
Officers also executed a search warrant on Warren’s vehicle and residence and found clothing, shoes and a white plastic bag that is consistent with the items seen during the robberies, according to the complaint.
Warren was charged Monday with 12 felony counts, including four counts of first-degree aggravated robbery (the three stores and an additional robbery of a driver in one of the store's parking lot), three counts of kidnapping, three counts of false imprisonment, and two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree.
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.
The criminal complaint contained detailed accounts of the three robberies.
On February 23 shortly before 9 p.m., a man walked into the Subway restaurant at 9th Avenue and Broadway and forced a female employee to give him money from a cash register. He then grabbed the employee by the hair and walked her to the back room area.
The man duct-taped her ankles and arms behind her back, pushed her bra up and touched her breasts. He also pulled her underwear down to her knees and touched her vaginal area, according to the complaint.
The man also cut or scratched her, leaving a mark, and cut her on her inner thigh area, the complaint said.
At about 11 p.m. on March 10, a man walked into Premiere Video on North Nokomis Street with a handgun and ordered a female employee and a male customer down to the floor. He bound their ankles and hands behind their backs.
The man took money from a register. While this was happening, another customer who was returning movies at the outside depository box noticed the duct-taped employee and customer and a man with a handgun and dialed 911. The suspect fled the store.
Shortly before midnight on March 18, a man approached a young female clerk at Super America at 15th Avenue and Broadway and pointed a handgun at her. He forced her to give him money from a cash register and placed the money in a plastic, white-colored Super America bag.
The man then forced the employee to the floor where he punched her and pushed her head into the floor. He then duct-taped her ankles and arms behind her back.
The man touched the employee’s breasts over the outside of her clothing, according to the complaint.
When the employee told the man that her father was coming to pick her up, he reportedly asked her, “How much time do I have?” The employee responded, “He should be here now.”
The suspect then left the store and approached the employee’s father who was seated in a vehicle. The suspect pointed the gun at him and demanded his wallet, which contained his driver’s license, Social Security card, fishing license and health insurance credit card. The man complied.