Victim gives chase after Portage home invasion
BY ERIN GUERRA Post-Tribune correspondent December 17, 2013 5:06PM
Updated: December 17, 2013 7:56PM
PORTAGE — Two men dressed in black, with their faces covered, kicked down the front door of a home in the midst of a small party Monday night, witnesses told police.
They fled with everyone’s cash and cell phones, but one victim followed them in his car, chasing them into Lake Station, where the suspects fled after crashing their car.
The incident started with the men forcing their way into the home after three or four loud booms at the door. Those in the house were forced to the kitchen and ordered to the floor, according to a police report.
Most details of the home invasion in the 5400 block of Osage Avenue in Portage were unclear. Several guests fled soon after the intruders did, those who remained told police. They also gave police conflicting descriptions — including the race of the suspects, the weapon one used and even at what time the brief encounter occurred. The time varied from 9:45 p.m. to 10:10 p.m.
Police were not called right away because the intruders took everyone’s cell phones, the victims told police. However, one guest — a 29-year-old Lake Station man — said he picked up car keys the intruders had dropped to the floor and chased the intruders into Lake Station. The culprits’ tan 2001 Buick LeSabre crashed at Union Steet and 18th Avenue, and they ran into a wooded area between 18th Avenue and I-94. The victim then flagged down a Lake Station Police squad car.
Lake Station officers and police dogs unsuccessfully searched the woods for the men. However, six cell phones, one victim’s wallet, and another’s credit card were found in the crashed car and the woods, police said. Gloves and a black stocking cap with an IU insignia also were in the vehicle.
Although the incident report indicated the crime has a “low solvability level,” it also listed two possible suspects: the owner of the Le Sabre and an acquaintance that one witness recognized from his eyes.