Crime

Man charged in Bellingham armed robbery arrested nearly a year later

A man charged with robbing a homeowner at gunpoint in May 2015 was arrested almost a year later on Monday, May 9.

Whatcom County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Robert Lee Willis, 23, Monday afternoon on a bench warrant related to the alleged robbery.

Charging papers say Willis broke into a home in the 700 block of Old Samish Road on May 26, 2015. The homeowner, 61, came home during the burglary.

Willis, armed with a handgun, threatened to kill the man and told him to lie on his stomach in the driveway, according to the charges. The man did as he was told.

Willis then left the scene in a car with two women.

The homeowner called 911. At the scene, Whatcom County sheriff’s detectives found a broken window and that the house had been ransacked. The homeowner reported two laptop computers and a cellphone stolen.

The homeowner later identified both Willis and Shakirra Maleeka Henderson, 20, in photo line-ups as suspects, according to the charges. The other woman isn’t identified in court papers.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Henderson in October. Willis hasn’t been in trouble with the law in Washington state since the alleged robbery. His family, during a bail hearing on Tuesday, said he’s been enrolled in business classes at Highline College, where he also works.

Superior Court Commissioner Martha Gross set bail at $50,000 on Tuesday.

Reporter Caleb Hutton contributed to this article.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan

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