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HAMMOND — Police are searching for four men — armed with baseball bats and a gun — who are accused in a string of violent robberies and vehicle thefts early Tuesday morning. 

A 67-year-old man told police he was sitting in his vehicle at about 6:20 a.m. Tuesday on the 5500 block of Alice Street when four young black men approached him holding baseball bats. 

The group pulled the victim from the vehicle then fled in his 1999 gray Toyota Camry with the Illinois license plate ZX20185, which had his wallet and cellphone inside, according to Hammond police Lt. Steve Kellogg. 

The suspects were believed to have also been driving a stolen white Town and Country van, which was later located in East Chicago, police said.

Kellogg said police then learned the men fled to Calumet City and are suspected of robbing a woman as she made a deposit at a Bank of America ATM.

Police released photos from the Bank of American robbery. The suspects threatened the female with a baseball bat. 

Police believe the suspects then drove to the Horseshoe Casino in the stolen Toyota Camry where they found another 67-year-old man sitting in his vehicle.

The man told police the group pulled him from his vehicle and started going through his pockets and assaulting him, Kellogg said.

One of the men displayed a black semi-automatic handgun in his waistband and threatened to shoot the victim for not cooperating, Kellogg said.

The victim said he "threw the money from his pocket in the air" and fled the area, according to police.

The victim immediately contacted security and Hammond Police and when he returned noticed that his 2014 black Hyundai Sonota with Illinois plate ZY44585 had been stolen with the keys inside.

The men are also accused of attempting to use a stolen credit card from one of the crimes at Walmart, 1100 5th Ave., in Hammond, just after the robbery at the casino. 

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Public safety reporter

Lauren covers North Lake County government, breaking news, crime and environmental issues for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.