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Police bulk up presence in Gary after eight homicides in eight days

Police investigate a double homicide Thursday in the 1100 block of Lane Street in Gary. A sweep through the city Thursday resulted in 18 arrests.

Police cracked down on crime in Gary after eight homicides in eight days.

The Lake County Sheriff's Department, the Gary Police Department, the Portage Police Department, the Regional Stop Team and Indiana State Police swarmed across the city in a sweep that netted 18 arrests Thursday night, including a suspect in a shooting.

Police sought out people with active warrants for their arrest in an effort to put a stop to the violence. The beefed-up police presence resulted in the arrest of Anrell K. Lakey, 21, of Gary, on charges of attempted murder, aggravated battery, battery by means of a deadly weapon, battery resulting in serious bodily injury, three counts of attempted battery by means of a deadly weapon and three counts of criminal recklessness.

Lakey was a suspect in a shooting Thursday night in Glen Park where a man was shot in the abdomen, just hours before two more men were shot to death on the city's west side. Police pulled him over in a white Toyota Camry by the 1200 block of E. 21st Ave. at about 9 p.m., and found spent shell casings in the vehicle, according to a news release.

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Gary has had 36 homicides so far this year. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson called on residents during a news conference Tuesday to double-down on efforts to reduce violence, such as talking to police, testifying as witnesses and volunteering to clean up neighborhoods.

Police arrested Lakey and 17 more men over the course of Thursday night, nabbing them mostly on warrants, including for possession of cocaine. Five were taken to the Gary Police Department, while one was transported to Porter County on a warrant and 12 more were taken to the Lake County Jail.

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said the arrests were just one part of a larger effort to crack down on crime in Gary, especially violent crime.

Homicide victims in Gary over the past week include Daja Brookshire, 15, Alec McCloud, 44, Valerie Gonzalez, 27, Utonise Harper, 22, Terrence L. Sallee II, 24, David Pippins, 21, James Powell, 18, and Raymond Washington-Whitehead, 17.

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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.