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Robbery foiled at Merrillville Portillo’s restaurant

Updated: December 16, 2013 9:38PM

MERRILLVILLE — Three restaurant employees of Portillo’s were duct-taped and handcuffed during a failed robbery attempt about 11 p.m. Sunday, police said.

Two suspected would-be robbers who fled the restaurant were caught nearby.

Merrillville police were responding to two panic alarms at Portillo’s restaurant, 555 E. 81st Ave., when they confronted two men about to run out the front doors of the restaurant.

According to police, when the suspects saw the officers, they turned and ran out the rear of the store, instead.

One suspect headed north to a Shell gasoline station, where he was caught. The other suspect was apprehended behind Staples, where he fought with an officer, police said.

The second suspect’s head hit the pavement during the fight, so he was taken to Methodist Hospital, where he was treated and released.

The suspects’ vehicle was located in the parking lot of Deluxe Inn, just east of Staples.

Police said the suspects had forced the restaurant manager to open a safe and had taken the cash inside.

Both suspects were transported to Lake County Jail pending formal charges.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact Merrillville Chief of Detectives Robert Wiley at 769-3722, Ext. 360.

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