PHOENIX – A pair of former prison cell mates are facing multiple felony charges for allegedly committing a string of armed robberies and carjackings while on parole. Dennis Lee Matthews (D.O.B. 10/16/1980) and Chad Forrest Whiteford (D.O.B. 9/12/1985) are accused of robbing several restaurants and convenience stores and committing two carjackings between August 18 and September 1, 2015. Matthews and Whiteford have multiple prior felony convictions and are currently in custody on secured appearance bonds in the amounts of $75,000 and $750,000 respectively.
In a 21-count indictment, Maricopa County Grand Jurors allege Matthews and Whiteford separately robbed a total of seven establishments by pulling a handgun on employees and demanding money from the cash register. Whiteford is charged with two carjackings, one of which allegedly involved Matthews as well. Phoenix Police Detectives identified the men as suspects after reviewing surveillance photos from the businesses that were robbed. Victims and witnesses of the incidents also identified the pair in photo lineups.
The indictment is not evidence of guilt. Both defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Phoenix, Mesa and Tempe Police are investigating additional robberies that may be tied to Matthews and Whiteford. The current charges against the Defendants stem from the following incidents:
- Armed robbery of Julioberto’s Restaurant at 3218 E. McDowell Road on 8/21/15
- Armed robbery of Best Farmer’s Market at 4825 N. 27th Avenue on 8/30/2015
- Armed robbery of Salsitas Restaurant at 1541 E. Roosevelt Street on 8/30/15
- Armed robbery and carjacking on 8/18/15
- Armed robbery of AM/PM Market at 2342 W. Bethany Home Road on 8/24/15
- Armed robbery of Julioberto’s Restaurant at 1832 W. Thunderbird Road on 8/25/15
- Armed robbery of Julioberto’s Restaurant at 2855 W. Cactus Road on 8/26/15
- Armed robbery and carjacking on 9/1/15
- Armed robbery of Walgreens at 7000 N. 16th Street on 91/15
Both defendants are charged with the armed robbery and carjacking of a black Infiniti sedan from a victim on 8/18/15 in the 40000 block of N. 85th Drive. Matthews and Whiteford are scheduled to appear for an arraignment on September 17, 2015.