Ameriwood robbery suspects identified by police

Published 5:04 pm Thursday, January 24, 2019

DOWAGIAC — Dowagiac Police have identified several suspects involved in a shooting that occurred at Ameriwood Industries on Monday night.

Following a carjacking, robbery and shooting that took place Monday evening at Dowagiac’s Ameriwood facility, Director of Public Safety Steve Grinnewald reported that one suspect, a 20-year-old South Bend man, is being held in Elkhart County Jail on charges filed by the Cass County Prosecutor’s Office.

These charges include:

  • Conspiracy to commit robbery, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
  • Armed robbery, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
  • Carjacking, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
  • Conspiracy to commit carjacking, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
  • Conspiracy to commit unarmed robbery, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
  • Unarmed robbery, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
  • Four counts of felony firearm, which carry sentences of two years consecutively.

The 20-year-old is being held awaiting extradition proceedings to Cass County. Charges have been requested for another individual, a 38-year-old South Bend woman, as well. She is currently being held in the Elkhart County Jail.

The charges and investigation allege that several subjects from South Bend traveled to Dowagiac in a stolen Lexus SUV where they robbed a 21-year-old Hartford man of marijuana packaging materials and then carjacked his vehicle. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in the parking lot of Ameriwood Industry where the victim was employed.

The robbery victim was shot several times during the robbery. He was treated for gunshot wounds and released from the hospital on Wednesday evening, according to Dowagiac Police.

As the investigation into the incident unfolded, Dowagiac Police officers alerted other law enforcement agencies in Michigan and Indiana.  The Dowagiac Police Department was subsequently advised that the Nappanee, Indiana Police Department had been involved in a vehicle pursuit of a Lexus SUV early Tuesday morning and took three occupants into custody.  Officers learned that the Lexus was stolen from an auto repair business in Mishawaka. Among the occupants of the vehicle were the two individuals identified by Dowagiac Police as suspects in the carjacking that took place at Ameriwood.

Currently, police are still searching for the other individuals involved in the carjacking, Grinnewald said, adding that at this time, it does not appear that any Dowagiac residents were involved in the crime.

This incident remains under investigation by Dowagiac Police. If persons in the Michiana area or beyond have information regarding persons involved in the theft of the Lexus SUV from the Mishawaka area and the robbery in Dowagiac, they are encouraged to contact the Mishawaka Police Department and the Dowagiac Police Departments, respectively. The Dowagiac Police Department can be contacted at (269) 782-9743, or the Cass County Tip Line at (800) 462-9328.