Bat-wielding carjackers arrested by Hammond police

Police arrested a man and two teens for a series of robberies and carjackings in Hammond where they wielded bats. If you have any information about the suspect pictured above, who is still at large, call 219-852-2981.

Police arrested three of four suspects who allegedly wielded baseball bats and a gun in a string of violent robberies and vehicle thefts in north Hammond last week.

The Hammond Police Department has identified all four suspects from a July 18 crime spree that included the robbery of a man parked outside the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond and a woman using an ATM outside a bank. All hailed from Chicago.

Ryan Payne, 23, and a 16-year-old were arrested and charged with two counts of armed robbery, one count of robbery causing injury and two counts of auto theft. A 15-year-old was also arrested and is pending charges, and a fourth suspect is still at large.

“I would personally like to thank the businesses and community at large for their cooperation and information that directly led to the identification of these four violent subjects,” Hammond Police Chief John Doughty said. "This is another example of the imported crime affecting our local communities. However, working in cooperation with the outstanding neighboring Illinois police agencies allowed us to capture these subjects so quickly."

The suspects robbed a woman at a Bank of America ATM in Calumet City and two men in their 60s, stealing their cars, phones and wallets, according to a police report. They wielded bats and threatened to shoot a victim who they said wasn't complying, police said.

Community members called in with information hours after police released security footage of the suspects.

“It is because of these calls from the community that we were able to so quickly identify these young men,” Detective Sgt. John Suarez said.

Anyone with information about the last remaining suspect should call 219-852-2981.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.