Hadan Bennett

Hadan Bennett

Seven arrests were made following a series of robberies and burglaries that took place on the evening of Oct. 28.

Two of those men face charges following robberies at Lafayette's Delta Express and Jr. Food Stores.

Joseph Whittemore, 21, and Hadan Bennett, 22, were taken to the Macon County Jail following their arrests in the early-morning hours of Oct. 29.

However, the series of incidents began at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 28, when Lafayette Police Department officer Byron Butcher was dispatched to an apartment complex located at 980 Highway 52 East in Lafayette.

According to the incident report, the resident of the apartment said that three or four black males kicked his door in and used pepper spray on him.

The man stated that the male subjects entered his bedroom and grabbed his Anderson AR-15 rifle and told him and another person who was at the residence to get on the ground.

The resident said that a television, Playstation 4 Pro, an iPhone, marijuana and a rifle were taken.

A witness in the parking lot saw the suspects drive away on Highway 52 in a white car.

The iPhone was located nearby, near Macon County Junior High, having been thrown out of the car.

Later that evening, at approximately 9:45, the Westmoreland Police Department arrested five individuals in a white 2004 Toyota. An AR-15, a TV, a Playstation 4, a significant amount of marijuana and cash was recovered from the subjects.

Those individuals were: Rayzon Hampton, 18; Tavarus Holloway, 19; JaThomas Nichols, 19; Blakely Richardson, 18; and Corwin Strahan, 21.

Then, at 10:30, law enforcement responded to a call for an ongoing armed robbery at Delta Express, located at 1000 Red Boiling Springs Road in Lafayette.

According to reports from law-enforcement officers, the clerk who worked there was outside of the gas station smoking when she was forced to go inside at gunpoint. The clerk stated that the man, who was believed to be Whittemore, was wearing a black and white Hollister hooded sweatshirt and red jogging pants.

He took money from the cash register and attempted to get into the safe, which was a secure safe. As a result of it being a secure safe, they could only get $20 out of it at one time.

Whittemore fled on foot with approximately $550.

The clerk locked herself in the stock room until law enforcement arrived.

Shortly thereafter, the Lafayette Police Department received a series of calls stating that shots had been fired near the 700 and 800 blocks of Ellington Drive.

Residents in that area stated that they heard three or four shots fired and then heard a car speeding away.

Then, a call came in stating that Whittemore was en route to Jr. Food Store, located at 1200 Scottsville Road, in order to rob it.

While the Lafayette Police Department was en route, dispatch received a silent, panic alarm coming from Jr. Food Store.

The Macon County Sheriff's Department responded to the call as well.

"We are thankful for the cooperation with the Macon County Sheriff's Department," Lafayette Police Department Detective Shane Reed said.

When the officers arrived, they found the clerk holding the back of his head and clearly distraught.

The clerk told the officers that the man who robbed the store had recently left on foot and was armed with a long gun.

After finding a trail of dollar bills on Akersville Road, that money trail stopped nearby at Handy Alley.

Lafayette Police Detective Shane Reed reviewed the security footage and saw that Whittemore had been in the store approximately 10 minutes prior to the robbery wearing different clothing.

According to the security video, Whittemore and Bennett were seen leaving the store in a silver, 2006 Nissan Altima.

There was approximately $239 taken in the second robbery.

Law-enforcement officers learned that Whittemore lived nearby, so they went to his apartment. The silver Altima pulled into the parking lot shortly thereafter.

The suspects complied with the officers and were taken into custody.

Bennett was the driver, and Whittemore -- who was in the passenger's seat (along with a third individual, who was a juvenile, in the back of the vehicle) -- was wearing the same outfit from the robbery.

Whittemore's apartment was searched, as was the apartment next to it, which was Bennett's apartment. In Bennett's apartment, rolls of quarters were found that had packaging matching quarters from Delta Express.

It was later discovered that some clothing taken from the apartment that had been robbed earlier in the evening matched the clothing worn by Whittemore in the two gas-station robberies. According to arrest reports, Whittemore is charged with having taken a clothes hamper full of clothes from that apartment after the initial burglary.

Whittemore is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, aggravated robbery, simple possession, theft of property, aggravated burglary, violation of order of protection and violation of probation. His bond was set at $60,000, and his court date is slated for Feb. 19.

Bennett is charged with aggravated robbery, with arrest reports stating that he dropped off Whittemore at both Delta Express and Jr. Food Store knowing that he was intending to rob the businesses. His bond was set at $30,000, and his court date is also slated for Feb. 19.

Richardson is charged with driving on a suspended license, speeding, expired registration, possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a schedule VI substance for resale. Her bond was set at $37,500.

Hampton, Holloway, Nichols and Strahan are all charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a schedule VI substance for resale. The bond for Hampton, Nichols and Strahan was also set at $37,500. Holloway's bond was set at $40,000.

The court date for those five individuals is slated for Nov. 19.

Warrants are issued for their arrest in Macon County after their charges are dealt with in Sumner County.