LAKE STATION | A Gary man who at gunpoint robbed a Lake Station convenience store may be linked to similar robberies in nearby communities, police said.
Joshua Ray Painter, 27, was charged Tuesday in Lake County court with Class B felony armed robbery in the Lake Station case.
Painter remained at large late Tuesday, Police Chief Kevin Garber said.
Painter was identified through a photo lineup as the individual who robbed an employee at County Line Market Convenience Store, 5035 Central Ave., on Jan. 24, Garber said.
A man identified as Painter initially asked the clerk for a product the store didn't carry, then pulled out a handgun and asked for money from the cash register, Garber said.
The clerk complied and the man fled on foot, Garber said.
The Lake Station Police Department received numerous tips from residents after a surveillance photo of the armed robbery suspect was posted on The Times' website, Garber said.
Garber said it's believed Painter also was involved in robberies at businesses in other communities, including Hobart and New Chicago.