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WHITING — A man ordered a cheeseburger and attempted to rob a White Castle early Tuesday, but fled after an employee told him to get out because police were behind him, a report says.

Police weren't actually behind the man, who grabbed a black canvas bag he had handed to a cashier and exited the restaurant, according to a Whiting police report.

After ordering the cheeseburger just before 2 a.m. Tuesday at the White Castle, 1879 Indianapolis Blvd., the man handed the black bag to a cashier, displayed a black handgun and said, "Give me the money!"

Another employee at the grill turned around and said, "Get out of here. The police are right behind you."

The man appeared to meet up with a second suspect outside, and the two fled in different directions.

The suspect with the gun went north on Cleveland Avenue. He was described at black, between 5 foot 10 and 6 foot and in his mid-50s with a receding hairline, all black clothing and an orange safety vest.

The second suspect, who was wearing all black, ran south through an alley between Indianapolis Boulevard and Atchison Avenue.

Police searched the area, but did not find the suspect, the report says.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Sgt. Brad Stelow at 219-659-4049.

Gallery: Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail

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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.