CROWN POINT — A Hammond man suspected in a string of robberies led police on a chase in Gary and ran into the dunes, but was found hiding in the brush several miles away because he was wearing a court-ordered ankle monitor.
Leon Taylor, 20, faces four felony and three misdemeanor charges in connection with an attempted robbery in Munster, a robbery in Hammond and the pursuit that led to his arrest, Lake Criminal Court records show.
More charges were expected to be filed early next week in connection with a carjacking in Gary's Miller section mentioned in the court record, Cmdr. Jack Hamady said.
Taylor is suspected in multiple recent robberies in the South Hammond and Hessville areas, Lt. Steven Kellogg said.
He was wearing a court-ordered ankle monitor while awaiting trial on a felony burglary case filed in June, court records show.
In each case, witnesses told police Taylor was accompanied by at least one other person. Taylor is the only person charged so far in the cases.
Taylor is accused of attempting to rob a Munster woman Nov. 2 in the 8100 block of Beech Avenue in Munster.
The woman told police she pulled into a driveway and was talking with her 14-year-old daughter, who was in the car, when a man pressed the barrel of a black handgun to her window and told her to open the car, court records say.
The woman put the car in reverse and accelerated, then drove to the police station while calling 911. She told police she feared the man was going to shoot her and take her daughter.
She noticed a second man was standing on the passenger side of her car when she fled, according to a probable cause affidavit.
GPS records from Taylor's ankle monitor showed he was at the woman's address at the time of the attempted robbery, court records say.
On Nov. 3, at least two suspects robbed a 33-year-old man of his cellphone and car in the 6200 block of Hemlock Avenue in Gary's Miller section, police said. The man provided a GPS location Nov. 4 for his phone, and the location coincided with a residence associated with Taylor, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Taylor and another man are accused of robbing a wife and her husband Nov. 4 in a driveway in the 7200 block of Jackson Avenue.
Taylor pointed a gun at the husband's face, while the second suspect reached over the wife as she sat in the driver's seat to take her purse, court records say. The suspects fled after the woman began screaming and her husband honked the car's horn, an affidavit says.
About 11:30 p.m. Nov. 4, Gary and Hammond officers with the FBI's Gang Response Investigative Team determined Taylor was in Gary's Miller area because they were tracking his ankle monitor, court records say.
A GRIT task force officer attempted a traffic stop, but Taylor allegedly sped off. His vehicle stopped in a driveway in the 1100 block of North Vigo Street after jumping a curb, an affidavit says.
Taylor and another man ran into the woods, and police lost sight of them. Taylor was apprehended about 2:15 a.m. after police — again tracking him with the ankle monitor — found him hiding in the brush near Ogden Dunes, court records say.
Hammond police executed several search warrants in connection with the case and recovered a variety of items. Anyone who believes the items belong to them or was a victim of a recent robbery is asked to call Detective Sgt. Marc Ferry at 219-852-2991.