GRANITE CITY - An East St. Louis man was charged with the April 18, 2017, robbery of a woman in the 3300 block of Nameoki Road in Granite City.

Willie Spates, 66, of the 1000 block of North 15th Street in East St. Louis was charged with one count of robbery to a person 60 years of age or over, a Class 1 Felony, following last month's incident in which an elderly female was knocked to the ground after having her purse stolen. The suspect then fled the scene in a red Dodge Caravan, according to a release from Granite City Detective Lieutentant Nicholas Novacich.

The Granite City Police Department in conjunction with the Florissant Police Department in Missouri, which was investigating similar incidents reported in their jurisdiction, conducted what police considered a "thorough investigation" into the matters. The suspect was identified following that investigation and was apprehended by investigators from the Granite City Police Department, the Florissant Police Department and the East St. Louis Police Department in East St. Louis on May 3, 2017.

Spates was charged by the Madison County State's Attorney's Office on May 5, 2017, and as of last week he was being held in the custody of the Granite City Police Department on a $500,000, awaiting either bail to be posted or transport to the Madison County Jail.

Reporter Cory Davenport can be reached via call or text at (618) 419-3046 or via email at

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