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UPDATE: Arrests made in string of armed robberies in our area

Police are investigating a string of overnight armed robberies that all happened around the same time in St. Joseph and Elkhart counties. // WSBT 22 photo

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Police arrested three people in connection to a string of robberies.

Caitlyn Scott,18, was arrested with two other people, a 16-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl.

Police say cooperation helped bring those people in.

A South Bend police spokesman says the department worked with The St. Joseph County police on this arrest.

He says those three suspects are tied to four robberies in the Granger area and a robbery in South Bend during Notre Dame's graduation weekend.

In all five robberies, victims told police they were approached by suspects at gunpoint.

The suspects then demanded cash and valuables.

Between all five robberies, suspects got away with purses, phones, tools and even a gun.

But South Bend Police Spokesman Ken Garcia says officers are still looking for another suspect, most likely a male.

"At the end of the day, the people who were arrested. They know friends, odds are, they were talking about it. People like to brag about what they're doing so call us give us information, let us know. You can call us at the police department. You can also make an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers," said Garcia.

Detectives with Michiana Crime Stoppers say those tips do help arrest suspects.

ORIGINAL STORY POSTED TUESDAY: Police are investigating a string of overnight armed robberies that all happened around the same time and in St. Joseph and Elkhart counties. All in Granger-area subdivisions.

Police say they believe the robberies are connected, and they already have a few leads.

According to police, the first incident happened around 11:20 Monday night on Santa Monica Drive not far from St. Pius Church.

A victim there told police she was followed home by two men, who then followed her into her garage and robbed her at gunpoint. They got away with a cell phone and cash.

In a second incident just 20 minutes later on Patricia Church Drive, seven miles away, a woman reported an attempted robbery.

Then just five minutes later and less than a mile away victims on Crimson Maple Drive reported they were robbed at gunpoint. In that case a phone and purse were taken.

Then about 20 minutes later and two miles away in Elkhart County, a man said he was robbed at gunpoint after parking his car in his garage on Stonecutter Drive.

The suspect got away with a cash and a firearm. A second suspect then stole a hand tool.

"The suspects are described to be two African American males and one African American female," according to St. Joseph County police. "One male suspect is described to be tall, thin build, and short hair. The second male party is described to be short, thin build, with shoulder length dreadlocks. The female suspect is described to be short and heavy set."

They are possibly driving a Dodge Stratus, maybe gold or grey in color.

We do know no one was hurt.

Police say all four victims were arriving home and were approached by the suspects as they were getting out of their cars.

Police and neighbors react

"Especially in some of these suburban neighborhoods you really don't think about things like this happening," said Asst. Chief Bill Thompson with St. Joseph County police.

"It's a very safe neighborhood," said Marie Ransberger, who lives in The Meadows. "A lot of the neighbors look out for each other, kind of keep an eye on each other's places."

"We do have a homeowner’s association watch, so we try to keep an eye on everything,” said Chuck Fuller, who lives in the Horizon’s Edge subdivision. “We do have a couple policemen that live in our subdivision."

Suspects took phones, purses, tools and even a gun.

These homeowners had a hard time believing their quiet neighborhoods could be so dangerous.

"I've never been scared to come home or be in my own home," said Ransberger. "Sometimes I get home late from work and the fact that somebody's out there, especially with a gun, is kind of scary."

Police were all over these neighborhoods knocking on doors and asking questions.

"We believe that these incidents are connected and we believe with the number of witnesses that we have that we're going to be able to develop some pretty good leads fairly quickly," said Thompson.

Neighbors hope the robbers are caught quickly.

"There are a lot of kids in this neighborhood that ride their bikes and play outside in the yards,” said Ransberger. “A lot of families walking their dogs and everything. And to think that somebody's around here is scary."


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