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CALUMET TOWNSHIP — Lake County sheriff's police on Tuesday found footprints leading to and from a garage and tools scattered in the garage at the property of a man who shot a would-be burglar last month, a spokesman said.

Nothing appeared to be taken and no shots were fired in the latest suspicious incident at the 66-year-old man's home in the 6100 block of West 41st Avenue, sheriff's spokesman Emiliano Perez said.

Sheriff's police responded to the property about 10:30 p.m. for a report of someone trying to break in to the home. The homeowner told police his dog alerted him to someone on his property, Perez said.

Two Gary men were charged this month in connection with a burglary Nov. 28 at the property, Lake Criminal Court records show.

The 66-year-old homeowner shot and wounded Leventes A. Strong, 24, of Gary, on Nov. 28 after Strong entered the home, a probable cause affidavit states.

The homeowner told police he fired his .380-caliber handgun after he saw someone emerge from his kitchen, thought he heard a shotgun being racked and saw the person aim the shotgun at him.

Strong was shot in the groin area, dropped the shotgun and fled the home, court records say. 

Strong and Nicholas J. Reeves, 24, of Gary, later told police they broke into the home because they heard the residence had "a lot of guns" to sell, the probable cause affidavit states.

Strong and Reeves each face two counts of burglary and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm as a serious violent felon.


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.