MICHIGAN CITY | An elderly man remained hospitalized Thursday after he was stabbed multiple times during another robbery of a customer at a popular Michigan City outlet mall.
Police several hours later found the alleged attacker, a man who claimed to be "homeless and in Michigan City for about the past month," said Cary Brinkman, commander of the city's detective bureau.
Willie Jones, 43, was being held on preliminary charges of aggravated battery and robbery.
Kenisha Simpson, 29, of Michigan City, was arrested on charges of possession of stolen property.
According to police, a 70-year-old man and his 67-year-old wife were at Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets before noon Wednesday in their vehicle when a man approached demanding the woman's purse.
The motorist got out and during a physical struggle with the suspect was stabbed multiple times in the torso, police said.
Brinkman would not disclose how many stab wounds the victim suffered but said he has undergone surgery.
The man and woman are from the Michigan City area.
Brinkman said officers began actively looking for the two suspects once information gathered from the investigation revealed the names of the individuals.
Jones was found after 9 p.m. at the GoLo station at 1133 E. Michigan Blvd. on the city's north end just south of Blue Chip Casino, police said.
Police said Simpson was found at 10th Street and Willard Avenue on the city's northwest side.
Brinkman said it's not yet known if Simpson was with Jones during the robbery but "she had some of the property from the robbery."
The purse contained some cash, but how much and other specifics including the type of knife were not disclosed because the investigation is still ongoing.
It's the third encounter with robbers at the outlet mall since Nov. 20 when a man tried robbing a 60-year-old woman at gunpoint.
He was thwarted by a 20-year-old female store employee ordering him to leave her alone. The suspect then tried robbing her but she resisted and he fled.
On Dec. 5, a 55-year-old woman also was robbed in the mall parking lot by four suspects.
Arrests were made in each of those cases.
Brinkman said the mall began increasing security after the first robbery and police are maintaining more of a presence there as well.
"Unfortunately, it's that time of year when some people get desperate and that's what they're resorting to do," said Brinkman.