MERRILLVILLE — Police said they are holding two adults and two juvenile boys in connection with an early morning robbery at a service station on U.S. 30.
Police identified the adult suspects as Damian J. Lawhon, 20, of Hammond, and Steven L. Rasmussen, 18,* of Princeton, Indiana. They are being held in the Lake County Jail. The juvenile suspects are being held in the Lake County Juvenile Detention Center in Crown Point.
Police said they will be presenting evidence to the Lake County prosecutor's office for the filing of charges in Lake Criminal and Lake Juvenile court.
Police said three masked individuals at 1:31 a.m. Tuesday entered the Speedway gas station at U.S. 30 and Whitcomb Street. Two held black handguns on the clerk and a patron in the store.
Police said the individuals stole a number of cigarette cartons from behind the counter before running from the store along with the unidentified patron.
Police said officers called to the crime scene reviewed images from a security camera. Officer Matt Vasel and his K-9 Jack tracked the suspects to a residence in the 7800 block of Hendricks Street, five blocks northeast of the station.
Merrillville police Detective Sgt. James Bogner obtained consent from the homeowner to search the house. Officers found the stolen cigarette cartons inside.
Police said they questioned the suspects, who admitted stealing more than 160 packs of cigarettes, worth more than $900, over the past few months from the station. Police said one of the juveniles, in the presence of his mother, confessed to taking part and named all of the parties involved in the crime.
*An earlier version of this story included the wrong age for Rasmussen.