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Benton PD Searching for 5th Suspect in Recent Home Invasions

BPD says suspects are connected to three armed robberies, two of which were home invasions, that have occurred within the last month.
Marcus Whitaker
Marcus Whitaker
Kristen Gay
Kristen Gay
Ryan Walker
Ryan Walker
BENTON, AR -- Police are searching for a man they say is involved in a recent home invasion armed robbery.

According to the Benton Police Department (BPD), an arrest warrant has been issued for 19-year-old Justin Ray in connection to a home invasion that occurred at Fountain Lake Apartments on Sunday.

BPD says Ray is associated with four other suspects, 23-year-old Ryan Walker, 19-year-old Kristen Gay, 18-year-old Marcus Whitaker and a male juvenile, who were all arrested earlier this week.

Justin Ray is wanted for aggravated robbery, aggravated residential burglary, first-degree false imprisonment, theft of property, interference with emergency communications and two counts of fleeing.

BPD says Ray is believed to be in the Central Arkansas area, and anyone with information about his whereabouts is encouraged to contact them at 778-1171 or 315-TIPS.

Individuals also may send an anonymous crime tip about this incident to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the body of the text or go to www.crimereports.com to leave a tip.

BPD issued the following news release regarding the arrests of the other suspects:

Recently, there were three aggravated robberies that have occurred in Benton within the past month.  Each incident involved armed robbery of the victims and two of them were home invasions.

One suspect was previously arrested for a home invasion robbery at Fountain Lake Apartments, Ryan Walker (23 YOA), and detectives have identified and arrested three additional suspects.  They are identified as Kristen Gay (19 YOA), Marcus Whitaker (18 YOA), and a male juvenile suspect.

The first incident involved the armed robbery of a victim using the ATM at Arvest Bank on Military Road on 10/2/13.  The victim was using the ATM at approximately 9:30 PM when a suspect approached her and robbed her at gunpoint before fleeing.  The suspect in this case is the juvenile subject.

The second incident took place on 10/14/13 on Hiland Street.  It involved a home invasion robbery where a gun was used in the commission of the crime.  The victim in the case had items taken at gunpoint and the suspects fled the area.  The three suspects in this case are Walker, Gay, and the juvenile suspect.

The third incident took place on 10/20/13 at Fountain Lake Apartments.  Multiple suspects forced their way into a residence at gunpoint and robbed the victims.  The suspects fled out a second story window after officers arrived on-scene while they were still inside.  One suspect, Walker, was arrested on-scene shortly afterwards.  Gay, Whitaker, and the juvenile subject are all suspects in this incident as well.

Walker is charged with Aggravated Robbery, Theft of Property, False Imprisonment, Interfering with Emergency Communications, and Engaging in a Continual Criminal Gang in relation to the investigation.  These are in addition to his previous charges of Aggravated Residential Burglary, Aggravated Robbery, Theft of Property, Fleeing on Foot, False Imprisonment, and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Gay is charged with 2 counts of Aggravated Robbery, Aggravated Residential Burglary, 2 counts of False Imprisonment 1st, 2 counts of Theft of Property, Interfering with Emergency Communications, Fleeing, and Engaging in a Continual Criminal Gang.

Whitaker is charged with Aggravated Robbery, False Imprisonment 1st, Interfering with Emergency Communications, Theft of Property, and Engaging in a Continual Criminal Gang.

The juvenile suspect is charged with 3 counts of Aggravated Robbery, 2 counts of Aggravated Residential Burglary, 3 counts of False Imprisonment 1st, 3 counts of Theft of Property, Interfering with Emergency Communications, Fleeing, Engaging in a Continual Criminal Gang, Fleeing, Possession of Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. There is also an additional enhancement on the controlled substance charge due to fact that detectives arrested him at Tyndall Park and because he was near a public school at the time of arrest.

During the course of the investigation, detectives uncovered information and evidence that tied the four suspects to an organized gang.  This was a possible contributing factor to the violent crime spree undertaken by them and the reason for the criminal gang charge.  This is still an on-going investigation and additional suspects and charges are possible in the future.

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