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Purse theft suspect arrested within minutes

February 11, 2019

MICHIGAN CITY — A man is behind bars after injuring a woman while stealing her purse outside a gas station on Franklin Street on Wednesday night, according to Michigan City Police.

The suspect, 27-year-old Quayshuan Kelly of Michigan City, is being held in the La Porte County Jail on a $25,000 cash-only bond, charged with robbery causing bodily injury, a Level 3 felony, according to the La Porte County Sheriff’s Department.

About 10:45 p.m. Wednesday, police were called to the Save-A-Lot station at 1811 Franklin St. for a robbery that had just taken place in the parking lot, according to MCPD Sgt. Chris Yagelski.

The victim, a 49-year-old woman, told police she had exited the station and returned to her vehicle when a man approached and grabbed her purse, according to police.

“A struggle over the purse ensued which caused injury to the victim,” Yagelski said. “The man ultimately obtained the purse and fled on foot to his vehicle, which was parked a few blocks away.”

The victim gave police a good description of the suspect and the vehicle, which was dispatched to other patrol units.

“Within minutes, an officer spotted the suspect vehicle in the 5700 block of Franklin Street,” and initiated a traffic stop with the assistance of two other officers, Yagelski said.

“Evidence of the robbery was recovered during the stop and the suspect was positively identified by the victim as the person responsible,” he said. The suspect was identified as Kelly, and he was arrested.

La Porte County Deputy Prosecutor Mark Roule then went before Superior Court 1 Judge Michael Bergerson, who ruled that probable cause existed for issuance of an arrest warrant, police said.

MCPD Chief Mark Swistek lauded the quick response and investigative efforts of the Patrol Division and Investigative Division in “bringing this matter to a swift conclusion,” noting the arrest occurred within 32 minutes of the original dispatch.

Anyone with further information about the incident should call Lead Detective Cpl. Anna Painter at (219) 874-3221, ext. 1077.

Kelly’s next court hearing is scheduled for Feb. 12.

—From staff reports

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