Law and Order Lake County
May 21, 2012 4:04PM
Carnia Batalis. | Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 21, 2012 7:20PM
Charges mount for robbery suspect
The investigation into gas station robberies in Hobart and Merrillville has led to additional charges in Porter County against the same suspect.
Jason Ballard, 19, of 3701 Johnson St., Gary, has been charged in Porter Superior Court with robbery for his alleged role in the June 6, 2011 robbery of a Valparaiso Speedway.
The clerk said two men wearing hooded sweatshirts and bandannas came into the store and took money from the registers and the employee. One of the suspects had a handgun, the probable cause affidavit states.
Ballard, Tekilah Black, 22, and Ashonte Griffin, 21, were all charged with Speedway robberies in Lake County.
Hobart Detective James Gonzales was investigating two robberies in his city and questioned Ballard, who admitted he participated in two Hobart Speedway robberies and last year’s on U.S. 30 at the Valparaiso Speedway, court records state.
Hobart woman accused of another theft
A Hobart woman charged in Lake County is also charged in Porter Superior Court with fraud and theft.
Carina M. Batalis, 34, of 963 Deer Cross Trail,was working at Babilla Roofing last year when the owner discovered unauthorized charges on credit cards held by his firm.
Detective James Gonzales learned Batalis had possession of the cards and found charges for pool supplies and groceries.
Batalis allegedly used the card at Menard’s in Portage, the probable cause affidavit states.
Copper thief gets 2-year sentence
Lake Superior Court Judge Clarence Murray sentenced a DeMotte man to two years in prison for burglary.
James Joseph Miller, 28, who also lists an address in Gary, admitted he broke into a building on Sept. 1 in the 1400 block of West 61st Place in Merrillville and stole copper piping.
The plea agreement outlined the two-year sentence and no option for serving it in work release or home detention.
2 men accused of promoting prostitution
Two St. Louis, Mo., men have been charged in Lake Superior Court with promoting prostitution after a 17-year-old girl said she was forced to walk the streets in Hammond.
The girl contacted police at about 10:15 p.m. March 6 at a gas station in Hammond after Tyrell Jay Williams, 23, and Carlton Price Gunn, 32, brought her to the Hammond and Chicago area to work as a prostitute. The teen said she had worked in St. Louis as a prostitute for Williams.
The girl told police Williams wanted her to wear heels and a short dress, but she said she couldn’t walk in heels and wanted to wear leggings because it was cold.
Police said Williams was upset and slapped and punched the girl, who tried to call 911, but Williams prevented her from doing so. Williams allegedly told the girl she was going to work for him or deal with the consequences. He dropped her off at a gas station, where he instructed her how much to charge customers and to walk toward another female and State Line Avenue. After Williams left, however, the girl returned to the gas station and contacted police.
In addition to promoting prostitution, Williams was charged with interference with reporting a crime, battery and intimidation.
Bobcat reported stolen
C&E Pipeline Services reported that someone stole a trailer carrying heavy machinary either Friday evening or early Saturday morning, according to police. The stolen items included a 2012 bobcat valued at $130,000. The items were taken from the 8400 block of Georgia Street in Merrillville from a parking lot.