Gary escapee charged in Lake Station home invasion
By Michael Gonzalez Post-Tribune correspondent December 15, 2012 5:08PM
Garrick Thomas, 24, still has Taser wires attached after he was recaptured at Miller Village Apartments in the Miller section of Gary, Ind. Tuesday December 11, 2012. According to police, Thomas escaped police custody while handcuffed leading officers from several departments to search for him in the area of U.S. 12 and County Line Road before he was discovered hiding in a closet where he put up a struggle and was Tasered. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 16, 2012 2:44AM
LAKE STATION — A Gary man who escaped briefly from a Gary police car in Miller on Dec. 11 is linked to a Dec. 7 home invasion here that sparked a school lockdown.
Garrick Thomas, 24, has been charged with 13 felonies from the home invasion and three from the Dec. 11 escape incident. The charges include armed burglary, causing an injury during a burglary and escape. He’s set to appear in Lake Superior Court on Wednesday.
Police said Bobbi Jo White, 31, of Gary is facing 11 felony charges, including false informing and lying to police. Thomas and White are in custody but Marcus Jamal Edwards remains at large and is considered dangerous, according to Lake Station police.
On Dec. 7, Lake Station police responded to a home invasion on East 36th Avenue, where an elderly man, along with a younger man and woman, were assaulted by two armed men who forced their way into the house.
Police were told the suspects fled into a nearby wooded area with cash, a shotgun, cell phones and prescription pills taken from the residence.
The incident triggered the lockdown of River Forest Junior/Senior High and River Forest Elementary. School officials also stopped bus transportation from Meister Elementary, also a River Forest school, to the three schools near the incident.
According to a statement from Lake Station Police Chief Kevin Garber, White was a friend of the female victim. Police said she drove Edwards and Thomas to a drop-off point near the home, just before she visited a female friend in the house.
While in the house, White sent text messages to Thomas and Edwards, and within minutes they forced their way into the house and began the assault, according to Garber.
Along with beating the three people already in the house, police said Edwards and Thomas ransacked the house and dragged the young female victim into a bedroom, where they took the property and cash before fleeing.
The report also stated White left the residence before police arrived, claiming she was on probation and wanted to avoid police contact.
On Dec. 11, Lake Station police apprehended Thomas at Miller Village, an apartment complex at 800 N. County Line Road, after responding to a request for assistance from Gary police involving a shooting at the complex.
Thomas, who was handcuffed and arrested, escaped police custody and made his way to White’s apartment, where he hid in a closet.
Lake Station Detective Mike Smith found the shotgun believed to be used in the home invasion under White’s bed, a bottle of pills prescribed to one of the Lake Station victims and Thomas hiding in her closet.