Two suspects in custody following potential string of robberies Tuesday morning

Published 10:19 am Tuesday, October 23, 2018

NILES — Police are investigating multiple robberies that ended with police apprehending two suspects Tuesday morning at Pete’s Southside Marathon, 1293 S. 11th St.

According to Niles Police Chief Jim Millin, Michigan authorities were notified by St. Joseph County police at about 8:35 a.m. that a silver car possibly involved in a robbery in St. Joseph County, Indiana was traveling northbound toward the Michigan state line.

“Our officers went out and started sitting at different locations in the city,” Millin said. “And we had an officer right in this area. … Our dispatch received a call of a robbery here at Pete’s Marathon.”

The suspects, a 30-year old white male and 33-year-old white female, both from Elkhart, stopped at Pete’s Southside Marathon at approximately 8:52 a.m. A preliminary investigation shows that one of the suspects slipped a note to the cashier at Pete’s Southside. It is not clear what the note said. The suspects were not observed to have any weapons, despite an earlier report that the suspects potentially had a knife.

Less than 20 minutes from the original call, a police officer was notified of a robbery at Pete’s Southside Marathon. An officer was close by and able to arrive at the scene within a few seconds. The officer held the suspects at gunpoint and had them lay down on the pavement in front of the building, until more police could arrive to take them into custody, according to Millin.

“Right now, they do match the descriptions of the suspects involved in the St. Joseph County robbery as well as the vehicle,” Millin said.

There were no injuries reported at Pete’s Southside Marathon. The female suspect is being charged with robbery, resisting and obstructing police and possession of methamphetamine. The male suspect is being charged with robbery and felon in possession of ammunition. Their relationship is unknown.

Police seized the silver Chevy Equinox that the suspects had been driving and activated a search warrant on the vehicle. They uncovered illegal drugs and apparent stolen merchandise from both robberies, according to Captain Kevin Kosten of the Niles Police Department.

Authorities will continue to investigate the incidents in partnership with police from St. Joseph County.

According to Captain Kevin Kosten, with the Niles Police Department, authorities are seizing the vehicle the suspects were driving, a silver Chevy Equinox, and will be activating a search warrant to look through the car.

Police have not yet released the names of the suspects. They are due to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Niles courthouse.  and with the investigation pending, Kosten said they are not likely to be arraigned Tuesday. They will not be extradited back to Indiana at this time, due to the potential local charges.

The Niles Police Department will continue to work in partnership with the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department to collect evidence and interview the suspects, Kosten said.