Juveniles Detained in Armed Robbery Incident at Koontz Lake

Two juveniles were detained in an investigation surrounding an armed robbery incident at a Marathon gas station at Koontz Lake Monday evening.

They entered the gas station around 7:30 p.m. CT Monday night wearing masks and bullet proof vests and in possession of weapons. They were able to get $600 in cash before they fled the scene. An off-duty officer and an officer from the Walkerton Police Department were able to secure the scene and determine if anyone was injured. No injuries were reported despite the report of shots fired on the premises.

Starke County Sheriff Bill Dulin said in a press conference Wednesday morning that the pair was detained in two different parts of the day on Tuesday after following information given by public tips and evidence witnessed in surveillance tape at the gas station.

“One of them was detained in St. Joseph County on a warrant-related offense,” said Dulin. “After 9 p.m., we had information that the other suspect was in Plymouth. We notified Starke County SWAT, Plymouth Police Department, Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, and the UNIT which is a narcotics unit in Marshall County. We all went to the residence over there and arrested the second suspect who was the armed suspect in the burglary.”

One of the juveniles lived in Starke County at one point and the other is from Plymouth, according to Dulin. Their names will not be released as the suspects are juveniles. Sheriff Dulin said that they may be waived to adult court due to the nature of the crime where their identities may be released.

Dulin added that several pieces of evidence were collected at the scene by Crime Scene Technicians from the Indiana State Police Lowell Post and Bremen Posts. Additional information led officers to some evidence on the northwest side of South Bend in the manner of shoes and clothing. The alleged weapon in the incident was retrieved.

With the help of several law enforcement agencies, Dulin said that arrests were conducted within 26 hours of the incident.

“I’d like to sing the praise of our detectives, road officers, dispatchers and jail staff and the other departments. This was a long process, but this is what police work is. You have really important information and you have to act on that regardless of what time it is or how tired you are and these officers did that and then some. I would like to recognize them. They went above and beyond,” commented Dulin.

Additional suspects remain under investigation as detectives continue their case research. Any charges will be presented to Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff for review.

The Starke County Sheriff’s Department was assisted at the scene by the Walkerton Police Department, Hamlet Police Department, Knox City Police Department, Marshall County Police Department, K9 officers, DNR, Indiana State Police Lowell Post, and Indiana State Police Bremen Post.