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MERRILLVILLE — Authorities arrested a 23-year-old man Thursday on charges alleging he beat a 79-year-old unconscious and stole a vehicle and a gun, an official said.

Johnny Mims, of Gary, was taken into custody about 10:30 a.m. in the 6000 block of Connecticut Street in Merrillville, said Mark Gregoline, supervisory inspector for the U.S. Marshals Service Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Mims was charged Oct. 19 in Lake Criminal Court with felony robbery resulting in bodily injury, felony auto theft and felony theft of a firearm.

The 79-year-old man told police Mims was temporarily staying in his apartment but was told to leave after "acting up."

Mims “sucker punched” the 79-year-old and repeatedly struck him until he became unconscious, according to a police report.

Mims is accused of stealing the keys to the man's 2010 Chevrolet Camaro and leaving.

The car later was recovered in the 4200 block of Monroe Street in Gary, police said. Police discovered a .32-caliber snub nose revolver had been taken from the car before it was abandoned, a report said.

Mims will be held without bail, according to court records.

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Public Safety Reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.