Federal investigators offer $25,000 reward for info regarding man linked to Aurora zip-tie post office robbery

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Pictured: Willie Dewayne Phillip. Courtesy of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

AURORA | Investigators from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service are asking for the public’s help in finding a man they say helped rob a post office in Aurora last month.

Officials are offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of Willie Dewayne Phillip, 54.

Phillip, who weighs 175 pounds and is 5 feet 7 inches tall, was indicted in U.S. District Court last week on one charge of assault/robbery involving mail, money, or other property of the U.S. using a dangerous weapon, according to the USPIS.

Last month, authorities arrested Joseph and Phelisha Wheeler for stealing more than $5,000 from the U.S. post office at 1074 S. Ironton St. across from the Gardens on Havana shopping center.

Officials now believe Phillip is linked to the same crime.

Postal clerks told police on Nov. 8 that a black man dressed in all black clothing, including gloves and a balaclava, entered the post office, then brandished a handgun and told the postal clerks to get on the ground. The man threw zip ties at the two clerks working at the time, but one of them did not put the zip ties on because she didn’t know how to, according to a criminal complaint filed against both Wheelers in U.S. District Court last month.

After taking money from the cash register, the man then fled the post office and entered a dark-colored Ford Escape driven by a woman described as “a heavyset, white female with blond hair in a ponytail.”

Authorities apprehended the couple about five hours after first receiving reports of the robbery.

Once in custody, Phelisha told authorities she and Joseph were at the nearby Hamburger Stand at the time of the crime to buy cocaine from Joseph’s uncle, “Willie,” who was bald, wearing dark clothes and carrying a drawstring bag. She said she and Joseph drove to Willie’s apartment near the intersection of Interstate 25 and Hampden Avenue to get cocaine. Phelisha then drove to a nearby King Soopers store with Willie’s girlfriend, Connie, before driving to the couple’s home on East 16th Avenue.

Joseph denied committing the robbery to authorities, but said he met his “partner, ‘Derek,’” at a nearby hamburger stand before running errands with Phelisha at the time of the crime.

Phillip is described as a bald black man with brown eyes, according to the USPIS. He may have facial hair.

Phillip could be armed and dangerous, and officials have ordered anyone who may encounter him to not apprehend him by themselves.

People with potential information regarding Phillip’s whereabouts should call the Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867. 

Anyone who encounters Phillip is instructed to call 911.

Tipsters can also directly call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Postal Service, at 1-877-876-2455 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.