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Gary, county cops conduct another sweep of streets

Officers Lake County Sheriff's Department shackle an arrested man as part an operaticlear up outstanding arrest warrants 4/25/14.  They

Officers of the Lake County Sheriff's Department shackle an arrested man as part of an operation to clear up outstanding arrest warrants, on 4/25/14. They are preparing him for shippment to County Jail, at IUNorthwest on Friday. | John Booz/for the Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 27, 2014 6:05AM



GARY — Expired plates, cracked windshields, traffic violations and even jaywalking — no reason was too small to warrant a stop Friday night by police.

About 60 officers from 10 jurisdictions saturated the streets of Gary and the Borman Expressway in the second mass sweep this year coordinated by Gary and Lake County sheriff’s police.

“Things can go from sugar to s--- real quick. ... Be careful out there,” Gary Police Chief Wade Ingram told the officers before they hit the streets.

Sheriff’s Officer Alfonzo Randle was among those participating in the patrols and was quick to get on the road.

“It’s gonna start getting hectic out here,” Randle said.

He said he thrives on the high-intensity sweep work, making stops for minor infractions in the hope of finding illegal activity or wanted criminals.

His first stop, one for expired license plates, came less than 10 minutes after he took to the street. The driver, Anthony Thames, of Gary, was wanted on two warrants, and his Friday night ended with a trip to Lake County Jail.

Randle had the second arrest of what would prove to be a busy night. An hour into the sweep, 11 people had been arrested.

“I’ll take second,” Randle said jokingly as Thames was processed at the mobile command center set up at Indiana University Northwest.

The officer was eager to get back on the road, shifting from foot to foot as he waited for jail officers to finish processing Thames and give Randle back his handcuffs.

While many of the arrests were simple warrant violations, the sweep also netted one person on the Borman who told police he was transporting cocaine from Chicago to Indianapolis, Sheriff John Buncich said, adding that the drug cache had a street value of about $500,000.

Buncich said another arrest involved a foot chase through a housing complex, where the arresting officer suffered minor cuts to his hand as a result of the chase.



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