LaPorte Couple Files Tax Fraud Complaint


A LaPorte woman reported receiving a letter from the IRS stating that her 2015 tax return was being held, but the IRS did not send an official letter.

The letter further stated that the IRS was holding the tax refund while reviewing her and her husband’s 2014 tax filings, according to a report from the LaPorte City Police Department. The woman told police that her husband had not yet filed his return.

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LaPorte Woman a Victim of Tax Fraud

 A 75-year-old LaPorte woman was unable to file her taxes because someone else used her personal information to file a claim.

LaPorte City Police Department officers were made aware of the fraud incident this week. The victim told police that her nephew attempted to file her taxes, and the filing was rejected. She added that she was an Anthem Health Care customer, and her information was among those stolen in a recent massive hacking incident.

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One Man Dead in Apparent Homicide


Detectives from the LaPorte City Police Department are investigating an apparent homicide.

LaPorte police officers were called to a disturbance at 119 John Street on Thursday morning around 6:31 a.m. A caller told dispatchers in the 911 center that a woman was screaming outside. The caller looked outside and saw blood on the ground.

Officers found an adult Hispanic man laying on the ground outside at the location. He was found unresponsive, and he appeared to have been stabbed, according to a news release. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the LaPorte County Coroner.

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Buckle up! Operation Pull Over Underway in LaPorte


Officers from the LaPorte City Police Department will be on the roads for another round of Operation Pull Over safety patrols. The enforcement began Tuesday and will continue until Feb. 21.

Patrol officers will work 50 hours to enforce seat belt and child restraint laws, as well as all other traffic laws in the city. Captain Tom Heath said the department chose the time around Valentine’s Day to conduct these patrols because one of the best things to do for loved ones is to be sure they are properly restrained in a vehicle.

In 2014, the LaPorte City Police Department investigated 550 property damage accidents and 110 personal injury traffic crashes. A total of 114 people were injured. Of those people, 16 were not restrained. Statistics show that February was the month with the second highest number of accidents, according to a news release.

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LaPorte Police Issue Citations in Thanksgiving Blitz


The LaPorte City Police Department recently completed a high-visibility impaired driving and seat belt blitz. The goal was to reduce the number of motorists killed or injured on roadways during the Thanksgiving holiday.

The blitz was conducted from Nov. 14 to Nov. 30 where 179 citations were issued in LaPorte. Police issued 91 seat belt citations, 23 speeding citations, two child restraint citations and two texting while driving citations. Five DUI felony arrests were made during the enforcement effort along with two felony and eight misdemeanor criminal arrests. In addition, 202 warnings were issued within the extra patrols.

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More Counterfeit Money Found in LaPorte


Officers from the LaPorte City Police Department are getting more reports of counterfeit $100 bills.

A representative from Fifth/Third Bank told police that three $100 counterfeit bills were found in the night deposit box. Two of the bills came from the Family Dollar store and the other came from Advanced Auto Parts, both located in the area of State Road 2 W., according to a news release.

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LaPorte Woman Arrested after Allegedly Assaulting Police Officer


A LaPorte woman was arrested on Friday after officials from the Indiana Department of Child Services attempted to remove a two-month old child from her residence.

Caseworkers told the child’s mother, Rosemary Zeigafuse, 37, that they arrived at the home on Worden Street to take the child as the result of a court order and Zeigafuse allegedly threatened to kill them. An officer from the LaPorte Police Department attempted to place her into custody and she hit the officer in the face, according to the news release. She reportedly continued to resist the officer until she was successfully taken into custody.

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LaPorte City Police Department Reports OPO Results


The LaPorte Police Department conducted 40 hours of patrols during last week’s Operation Pull Over event. Officers wrote 52 citations and 64 warnings which included 39 citations for seat belt violations and one citation for a child restraint violation.

Operation Pull Over is a federally funded traffic safety program administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

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LaPorte Officials Evacuate City Block after Suspicious Package Found


A LaPorte city block was evacuated this morning after police found what appeared to be three pipe bombs inside of a box.

LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo informed residents on her Facebook page that the LaPorte Police Department responded to a call of a suspicious package in the 700 block of Philadelphia Street. Once officers determined what was inside the box, the Porter County Bomb Squad and the ATF were notified. Those officers successfully removed the package.

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LaPorte Police Department Renews Partnership with ICJI


The LaPorte City Police Department will be continuing in its partnership with the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) with a $21,150 grant for Operation Pull Over which expires in September of 2015.

Operation Pull Over is an initiative by officers to reduce traffic crashes and related injuries and fatalities with planned enforcement. The officers work toward monitoring dangerous driving behavior such as speeding, sign/signal violations, following too closely, reckless driving, texting while driving, and other unsafe driving behavior to reduce crashes. Police also conduct seat belt and child restraint enforcement to increase restraint use.

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LaPorte City Police Department Investigates Reports of Gunfire


Officers from the LaPorte City Police Department are investigating reports of gunfire in the 200 block of E. Jefferson Avenue.

Residents reported hearing about five gunshots in the area on Saturday. One witness told police that a muzzle flash was seen coming from the area. Others reported seeing someone walking from the scene and a vehicle leaving the area.

Another witness told police that they saw two subjects yelling and running from the area shortly after hearing the gunfire.

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LaPorte Police Investigate Alleged Armed Robbery


A LaPorte man told police that he was held at gunpoint and robbed on J. Street in LaPorte on Monday night.

The victim, 20, told LaPorte City Police Department officers that he was walking near the area where the Tastee Cream is located when a female suspect exited a silver car and allegedly approached him with a handgun, according to the news release. The victim was then reportedly shoved against the back wall of the business and money was removed from his pants pocket.

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Two Arrested after Vehicle Stops on Tracks


A trip for two men didn’t go as planned after the car they were in became disabled on train track near Tipton Street crossing in LaPorte.

In the overnight hours on Saturday, LaPorte police were called to the scene where they found a pickup stuck on tracks west of the location, near Detroit Street. The staff in the dispatch center was alerted to contact the railroad and stop all train traffic until the vehicle could be removed.

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Man Arrested in Homicide Investigation


LaPorte police are investigating a homicide that occurred after 2 a.m. CT Saturday.

Officers were called to the 1000 Block of Lincolnway and found a man who was bleeding profusely. The victim was immediately transported to IU Health LaPorte Hospital and later died.

A preliminary investigation and evidence collected at the scene led to the arrest of Justin M. Lower. Lower, 26, has been preliminarily charged with murder and is being held in the LaPorte County Jail.

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Stolen Water Service Lands Man in Jail


A LaPorte man was arrested on Sunday after reportedly stealing water service from the City of LaPorte.

LaPorte police were called to a 4-unit apartment at 101 Bond Street after a complaint was filed about theft of water services.

Police learned that the water service had been turned off to the apartment. Several notices had been given to the tenant that it was unlawful to turn on the water unless it was done by an employee with the water department.

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Suspect Detained in Battery Incident in Knox Park


The Knox City Police Department is investigating the battery of a 14-year-old boy in Wythogan park on Monday night.

According to witness statements given to a Knox officer, a male juvenile had approached the victim in the park and struck him on the head. The victim fell and struck his head on the concrete walkway. The suspect, later identified as a Knox resident, was in a gold-colored passenger car with four other people that left the scene.

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LaPorte Man Arrested on Child Pornography, Child Exploitation Charges

Ronald E. Wheaton
Ronald E. Wheaton

A LaPorte man was arrested Monday afternoon after several police agencies served a state search warrant at his home.

Detectives with the Indiana State Police (ISP), ISP Crimes Against Children Detectives, North Mobile Forensic Vehicle, and the ISP K9 assisted the LaPorte City Police Department in serving the search warrant at 205 Woodward Street in LaPorte. It was there where officers found possible evidence that 34-year-old Ronald E. Wheaton was allegedly in the possession of child pornography.

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