LAKE COUNTY — Officers from several departments teamed up in a pursuit of five stolen vehicles that ended in the arrest of three Illinois residents, the sheriff said.
“I have been monitoring the spike in armed carjackings in Chicago and surrounding suburbs," Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. said. "The Lake County Sheriff’s Department is committed to apprehending these dangerous suspects and bringing them to justice."
Early Saturday morning Martinez, several Lake County officers, Indiana State Police and police from three other jurisdictions assisted in the pursuit.
Around 4 a.m. ISP and Jasper County sheriff's police were chasing five stolen vehicles driving north on Interstate 65 near Lowell. A patrolling Lake County officer at I-65 and U.S. 231 joined the pursuit when he noticed several vehicles speeding at more than 130 mph.
Once the officer approached the area of I-65 and U.S. 30, he saw a man get out of a SUV and try to flee on foot in the roadway. The man ran and vanished between vehicles stuck in traffic.
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The officer then saw another suspect vehicle in the pursuit exit to U.S. 30 and turn north on Colorado Street in Hobart. A man jumped out of a vehicle in the 7300 block of Colorado Street, running west between houses, police said.
Martinez and the officer worked at the scene to catch the fleeing suspects, with several other Lake County officers, Indiana State Police and the Lake County Aviation Unit assisting.
Police worked through extremely cold temperatures in dense woods and the man was eventually found in the 6700 block of Colorado Street. Police arrested him and found a handgun and tools in a backpack he was carrying.
After the pursuit, three men from Illinois were arrested and face criminal charges.
Martinez thanked officers from Hobart Police Department, Merrillville Police Department, St. John Police Department, Schererville Police Department, Indiana State Police and the Lake County Sheriff’s Department for their efforts.
“This pursuit happened just hours after another incident where a 31-year-old man led police on a high-speed chase and slammed into two police squad vehicles,” Martinez said. “That case ended with shots fired and police eventually apprehending the suspect at 25th and Broadway in Gary. At the time, we were involved in a countywide blitz aimed at helping to end the rise in carjackings and car thefts in the area.”
Lake County Sheriff's police and several other departments in the county have been conducting a blitz in response to recent crimes in the Region such as burglaries, carjackings and thefts.
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