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Three arrested in string of robberies, attempted thefts
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Three arrested in string of robberies, attempted thefts

PORTAGE — Three people have been arrested and charged in connection with Monday night's armed robbery of a local gas station and a burglary of a home here Tuesday night.

Nikita Santos, 24, of Lake Station, Roy Castro, 25, of Portage Township, and Brent Rains, 30, of Portage, were arrested late Tuesday night by Portage police following a home burglary in the 5700 block of Springfield.

The three also confessed to the Monday night armed robbery of the Marathon gas station, 6262 U.S. 6, and to attempted arm robberies Tuesday afternoon in Beverly Shores and Lake Station, according to Portage police.

Just before 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Master Patrolman Brian Graves made a traffic stop on a van matching the description of a vehicle involved in the earlier robberies in the area of Central Avenue and Dombey Road.

Santos, Castro and Rains were in the van. Police confirmed Castro was wanted on a warrant through the Porter County Sheriff's Department for theft. He was initially taken into custody. He also gave police permission to search the van. Graves spotted a large knife there.

All three were transported to the Portage police station for questioning. The van also was taken to the police garage.

Police also reportedly found several items in the van allegedly taken in the home burglary that was reported Tuesday night by residents of a home in the 5700 block of Springfield Avenue.

The three were questioned by Detective Joe Mokol and allegedly confessed to the robberies and some burglaries in Portage, according to police.

The resident of Springfield Avenue called police shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday to report her home had been burglarized while she was at work. The suspects had apparently entered through a kitchen window and took several items including a Sony Playstation 4, games, DVDs, a fireproof safe, ring and laundry hamper.

Rains was charged with robbery, burglary and possession of a hypodermic needle. Castro was charged with robbery and burglary. Santos was charged with burglary, identity deception, possession of a controlled substance, false informing and driving while suspended.

All three were transported to Porter County Jail. Charges on the armed robberies in Beverly Shores and Lake Station are pending by those jurisdictions.

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Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.

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