Neighbors help catch alleged robber

Impromptu police-work by three residents of a lower Nob Hill residential building, who came to the aid of a neighbor, led to charges being laid against a man who allegedly attacked and then robbed elderly victims.

Dwayne Whittaker is due in court at 9 a.m. today, accused of a string of three attacks against two seniors and a 55-year old man after he allegedly followed his victims into the lobbies of their residential buildings in order to rob them, according to a statement by the District Attorney’s office.

The 47-year old man faces 75 years to life in prison if found guilty. He is being held on $1.85 million bail, according to the statement.

At 8 p.m. last Wednesday, Whittaker allegedly tackled a 55 year-old man to the ground in the lobby of his Tenderloin home, struck him in the head and then demanded his wallet.

A visitor to the residential building rushed to the victim’s aid and tackled then wrestled with Whittaker, busting out glass in the entrance door in the process, according to an Aug. 19 police newsletter by Capt. James Dudley of Central Station. “The robber said, ‘I’ll stab you,’ but the visitor did not see a knife,” Dudley wrote.

The visitor and two tenants who also rushed to the victim’s aid restrained Whittaker until police arrived, according to the District Attorney’s office statement.

After Whittaker was arrested, he was searched and police found stolen items belonging to an 86-year old man who was robbed under similar circumstances on Aug. 8 and a wallet stolen from a 70-year old man who also was robbed under similar circumstances on July 15, according to the statement.

Whittaker was identified by witnesses as the thief in both of those robberies, according to the statement.

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