escamilla

Kristin Marie Escamilla 

HAMMOND — Felony charges have been filed against a 36-year-old woman from Hammond who allegedly robbed a White Castle at gunpoint on Tuesday at the drive-thru window.

Kristin Maria Escamilla faces one charge of robbery, a level 5 felony, according to Hammond Police Lt. Steven Kellogg. 

Escamilla is accused of approaching the employees at the White Castle drive-thru at 7921 Indianapolis Blvd. with a black semi-automatic handgun at about 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to police.

She allegedly demanded money and fled in a silver, older model Chrysler Sebring 4-door, which was captured on surveillance footage. 

Police said the vehicle information was immediately shared with officers and a detective with the Hammond Gang Unit went to work searching based on what he knew.

Within an hour, police had located the suspect vehicle in Hammond's Blue Net license plate reader system. From there, detectives located the suspect and within seven hours of the robbery, the suspect was in custody. 

Kellogg said in a case where a suspect's car has no license plate, the Blue Net system has to be combed through to find vehicles from other images taken in the area and compared against previous photos taken when the vehicle had plates on it.

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Public safety reporter

Lauren covers breaking news, crime and courts for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet covering government, public policy, and the region’s heroin epidemic. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.