Updated: November 9, 2011 4:24PM
Statewide DUI blitz nets 363 arrests
A statewide driving under the influence enforcement project by the Indiana State Police led to 363 DUI arrests 7 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Saturday.
The purpose of the two-day enforcement campaign was to remove impaired drivers from Indiana roads. In 2009, 168 people were killed in Indiana crashes involving impaired drivers, while the number killed was 10,839 nationally.
In the Lowell district, Indiana State Police were joined by the Gary Police Department, Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana University Northwest police, Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District police, U.S. Marshals, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
In Northwest Indiana, there were 53 impaired driving arrests made. Officers also issued 283 traffic citations, 519 written warnings, 38 driving while suspended, 22 seat belt tickets, 76 commercial motor vehicle inspections, 133 commercial motor vehicle violations and 47 various criminal arrests.
Statewide, troopers issued 3,131 traffic citations and 5829 warnings. Officers also made 445 arrests for various criminal violations.
As of Aug. 1, the Indiana State Police made 5,364 impaired driving arrests. In 2010, troopers arrested 9,528 impaired drivers, which were 133 more arrests than in 2009.
Man accused of
A Portage man was arrested after allegedly stealing a tree from Remus Farms, then leading police on a pursuit Sunday night.
Edwardo Garcia, 50, was charged with resisting law enforcement, reckless driving, conversion and several traffic infractions.
At 11:28 p.m., officer Ryan Walsh was traveling westbound in the 9000 block of East 37th Avenue when a GMC pickup truck traveling eastbound crossed the center lanes and nearly collided with his patrol unit.
The truck entered Remus Farms, located at 9380 E. 37th Ave., with the headlights shut off. Walsh turned around and positioned himself behind the vehicle and saw the driver place an evergreen tree from Remus Farms into the bed of the truck. Walsh activated his overhead lights, then the driver entered the truck and drove away eastbound on 37th Avenue.
The truck proceeded east on 37th Avenue, north on County Line Road, then east on Stone Avenue in Portage, before the truck turned onto Willowdale Road and pulled into a driveway in the 2800 block.
The truck parked in the rear of the residence, and the driver fled but he was eventually located in a crawl space under the residence with the help of the Portage Police Department and Hobart K9 Officer Simon Gresser and his K9 partner Rommel.