Orangeburg man confesses to 3 armed robberies in Clarendon County

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SUMMERTON - A 20-year-old Orangeburg man was arrested Wednesday morning in Clarendon County on three counts of armed robbery with a deadly weapon after reportedly confessing to three recent robberies.

Terrell Tykeem Whatley was in a vehicle with his wife when he was arrested at the intersection of Nelson's Ferry and Clifton roads by Clarendon County Sheriff's Office with assistance from Summerton Police Department less than four hours after the Wednesday morning robbery. No charges have been filed against his spouse.

Clarendon County Sheriff Tim Baxley said Clarendon County deputies responded to a convenience store on Dingle Pond Road about 8:27 a.m. Wednesday in reference to an armed robbery. According to reports, the store's clerk described the suspect as a black male wearing a mask and a black hoodie who presented the clerk with what was thought to be a handgun wrapped in plastic. The robber demanded cigarettes and money before leaving the store.

According to Baxley, an eyewitness was able to give deputies the license number of the getaway vehicle, a Nissan Altima. After finding the abandoned Nissan, which belonged to Whatley, at Jack's Creek Marina, deputies set up a perimeter. Whatley, who had changed vehicles, was spotted and arrested without incident. During a search of Whatley and his vehicle, deputies found items used during the robbery as well as items taken from the store.

Using video from two prior armed robberies, Clarendon County investigators were able to connect Whatley to those armed robberies as well as the robbery on Wednesday. The first robbery was on Oct. 29, 2017, and the second robbery occurred on Nov. 12, 2017. All three robberies occurred at the same store.

"We started our investigation immediately following the first robbery," Baxley said Thursday afternoon. "We've been working on both prior robberies trying to figure it out, but this time we were able to get a tag number from an eyewitness, and that helped tremendously. We were able to pinpoint the location of the vehicle, set up a perimeter and waited until we made the arrest. I want to thank the Summerton Police Department for their assistance."

According to Clarendon County Sheriff's Office, Whatley confessed to all three armed robberies. He was charged with three counts of armed robbery with a deadly weapon. Whatley is being held at Clarendon County Detention Center. Because of the severity of his alleged crimes, he was denied bond at the magistrate's level. He's awaiting a bond hearing before a circuit court judge.