LaPorte County Police arrest man believed to be connected to multiple robberies
LAPORTE COUNTY —
An arrest was made early Wednesday morning following a string of smash and grab burglaries at gas station-convenience stores in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan.
LaPorte County Sheriff John Boyd said the 41-year-old Gary man was being held for driving on a suspended license.
Boyd called the man a ‘’person of interest’’ in one or more burglaries.
The arrest was made after more than 30 cartons of cigarettes were taken at Family Express at Indiana 2 and 500 West in Pinola, then a window shattered at A & A Petroleum in Westville.
Boyd said the suspect took off before grabbing anything in Westville when a very loud audible alarm sounded.
‘’Potentially, that scared him away,’’ Boyd said.
Boyd said video surveillance at the Family Express revealed the suspect going inside and leaving in a Pontiac sedan.
The car is similar to the vehicle captured on video leaving Knoll Brothers in New Buffalo early Friday and some of the other victimized stores like Value Mart near Stevensville, Michigan, according to authorities.
An estimated $500 in cigarettes and alcohol were taken from the Value Mart, said Detective John Chance of the Lincoln Township Police Department.
Boyd said a patrol officer spotted the suspected vehicle just before 1 a.m. in Wanatah. The man tried alluding the officer by parking in a driveway but was unsuccessful.
At least seven smash and grab burglaries have been reported since December 14.
A sledge hammer was used to shatter the glass at two or more of the locations.
Boyd said investigators were in the process of obtaining a warrant to search the man’s vehicle to see if there’s any evidence like cigarettes that would connection him to the crime spree.