Merrillville Pawn King robbed; police won't confirm Portage robbery link

2012-01-06T17:30:00Z 2012-01-08T00:07:45Z Merrillville Pawn King robbed; police won't confirm Portage robbery linkBy Chas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com

MERRILLVILLE | Investigators continue to search for a suspect in a Friday morning armed robbery at Pawn King, 6850 Broadway.

Police said a man entered the business about 11 a.m., fired one shot into the floor and took an undetermined amount of cash and other items.

Witnesses said the man ordered customers to lie down, saying he did not want to hurt anyone. There were no injuries during the incident.

"He said, 'I just want to get what I came to get and leave,'" said Rose Dvojacki, of Merrillville, a Pawn King customer.

Police said the man was wearing a red sweatshirt. Dvojacki said the man covered his face with what appeared to be a bandanna.

He fled the business on foot after taking the items.

Merrillville police, Lake County canine teams and the Lake County helicopter unit searched the area.

A similar robbery occurred Dec. 29 at a Pawn King in Portage.

Portage police said the suspect in that armed robbery ran inside business at 2692 Willowcreek Road just after 11:45 a.m. Dec. 29 with a silver semiautomatic pistol and began yelling at employees to "get back."

Portage police described the man as black, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and 180 pounds, wearing dark baggy pants, a large black baggy coat, a black White Sox cap and a red bandanna over his face.

That person fired one shot into the floor and took an undetermined amount of cash from a register.

The man left through the front door and was seen fleeing north through a residential neighborhood.

Police said no one was injured in the Portage robbery.

Jim Lilley, Merrillville's chief of detectives, said he is aware of Portage's robbery, but he could not confirm or deny if it is linked to Merrillville's. Lilley said he will contact Portage detectives to determine if the crimes are connected.

Anyone with information about the Merrillville robbery is asked to call the Merrillville Police Department crime tip hot line at (219) 756-6180.

People with information about the Portage robbery can call Detective Sgt. Nick Grynovich at (219) 762-3122 or text information anonymously to 847411 with PPDTIP as the keyword.

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