Business owners in Elkhart are on edge as police continue to investigate a string of armed robberies, targeting businesses in the city and county.
Just after 4 a.m. Thursday morning, Elkhart police responded to a report of an armed robbery at the Days Inn located on the 2800 Block of Cassopolis Street. Police say the robber went into the office and demanded money.
Police arrested 23-year-old Elkhart resident Jacob Estep at the Red Roof Inn next door. Police did not say how he got there, but a media spokesperson for the hotel said the Red Roof Inn was not robbed.
Estep is in Elkhart County jail, being held without bond.
Last Friday, an employee of a barber shop on the 600 Block of Main Street was robbed at gunpoint.
"The robbers came in brandishing a chrome gun," said an employee who asked to remain anonymous. "He asked me to give him all my money, and he said, 'You know what this is?' So I gave him the money I had in my right pocket so after he did that, he said give it all to me so I gave him what was in my left pocket."
The employee said the robber also demanded the wallet from a customer in the store.
"After that, he told us to get on the ground. Once they got all our money and we got on the ground, then they left."
Police will not say whether there is any evidence linking these crimes, but below is a breakdown of each robbery.
The suspects in the barber shop robbery are described as two black males, wearing hooded sweatshirts. Thad their faces covered with black or black and white scarves. One was described as being about 6'2."
Staff at the Days Inn said they were robbed at gunpoint at around 4 a.m. Sunday morning, but declined to give News Center 16 a description. Elkhart police have not returned calls requesting confirmation of the incident.
The suspect in the robbery of the 7-Eleven on the 25,000 Block of County Route 6 is described as a white male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, who had his face covered with a black bandana.
Fortunately no one was hurt during any of these robberies.
Police will not say whether there is any evidence linking these robberies. They say the reason is because the cases are still under investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Elkhart City police tipline at 574-389-4777.