December 21, 2014

Elyria
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Search warrant unsealed in attack, robbery of police chief’s nephew

Hopper

Hopper

Moore

Moore

ELYRIA — One of the men accused of pistol whipping a Marco’s Pizza delivery driver during a February attack allegedly used his own phone number to lure the driver to the Fourth Street apartment building where the robbery took place, according to a search warrant unsealed Wednesday.

Police traced the phone number through Google Plus to Michael Moore, one of two men facing aggravated robbery and other charges in the Feb. 23 robbery of Steve Whitely, who is the nephew of Elyria Police Chief Duane Whitely.

Moore and Andre Hopper, both 21, were arrested after Steve Whitely was attacked in the lobby of 240 Fourth St. A third man, whom police have not identified, is still being sought in connection with the robbery, Elyria police Capt. Chris Costantino said.

Whitely told police that he knocked on the door of the apartment where the pizza was ordered to be delivered, but got no answer. As he was leaving, two men approached him.

One of the men was armed with a gun, according to an affidavit accompanying the warrant. One of the men took Whitely’s wallet and cell phone and when he tried to get his phone back, he was hit on the head with the butt of the gun.

The robbers then fled the lobby, and Whitely was able to get someone in the building to call 911.

Police in the area spotted three men and were able to catch Moore and Hopper, but the third suspect eluded capture.

Although Moore denied being involved in the robbery, Hopper told police that Moore was involved, according to the affidavit. Hopper also confessed to serving as a lookout in the robbery.

On March 18, police found a semiautomatic pistol in the area of the robbery and a DNA test found Moore’s DNA on the weapon’s clip.

Chief Whitely said Wednesday that he couldn’t comment on the case because he wasn’t involved in the matter.

Costantino said Whitely has deliberately avoided any involvement because one of his family members is the alleged victim.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @BradDickenCT.