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WHITING — A 29-year-old man was arrested on charges he robbed a Hammond man, who had been lured to a Whiting alley by the suspect's girlfriend, court records show.

Victor A. Espinoza, 29, of Munster, is accused of pushing a handgun into the victim's ribs and taking $113 and a cellphone from his pocket Monday in an alley in the 1500 block of Fischrupp Avenue in Whiting, according to Lake Criminal Court records.

Espinoza allegedly told the Hammond man to drive away after the robbery, and he drove directly to the Whiting police station.

The Hammond man told police he had received a text from a Whiting woman, whom he's known for many years. She asked the man to meet her in the alley on Fischrupp Avenue, a probable cause affidavit states.

When the Hammond man arrived in the alley, the woman got into his pickup truck and they talked. She told him she had received a text from her daughter, got out and walked to the rear of the truck, court records state.

A man, later identified as Espinoza, walked out from between houses carrying a semiautomatic handgun and robbed the Hammond man, according to the affidavit.

The victim told police he saw Espinoza and the woman walking away together between houses.

The Hammond man recognized the suspect as the woman's boyfriend in photos on her Facebook page, court records state. He later identified Espinoza in a photo lineup as the person who robbed him.

The investigation remains ongoing, Whiting Police Chief Steve Miller said.

A warrant has been issued for Espinoza's arrest, he said.


Public safety reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.