Chesterton Tribune



Michigan City man and juvenile charged in federal court with Portage Chase Bank robbery

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One day after he allegedly robbed a bank in Portage and another one in Michigan City, a suspect was in custody and charged in federal court, following an investigation by the Portage and Michigan City police departments and the FBI Grit Task Force.

Jason Jay Cheek, 41, of Michigan City, has been charged with the armed robbery on Tuesday of the Chase Bank in Portage and a second bank in Michigan City as well as with the earlier robbery on June 5 of another bank in Michigan City, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana reported after deadline on Wednesday.

According to Portage Police, at 4:28 p.m. Tuesday a male subject entered the Chase Bank at 3275 Willowcreek Road, approached a teller, and told her that “he would be her robber today.” He then demanded money and warned the teller “Don’t make me shoot you,” the PPD said.

The teller remained calm and complied and, after the robber had fled, the bank was locked and law enforcement provided with “pertinent information.”

Portage PD Officer Matt Johnson subsequently located the suspect vehicle near the intersection of Lute Road and Airport Road and executed a traffic stop. All three occupants of the vehicle were then transported to the PPD for questioning, at which time Cheek was “clearly identified by surveillance photos from the bank” as the robber, the PPD said. Investigators also learned that Cheek was suspected of a bank robbery in Michigan City which occurred “just prior” to the Chase Bank job and of a third job on June 5, the PPD said.

Working together, investigators with the PPD, the MCPD, and the FBI obtained further information as well as evidence leading to the arrest of Creek and a 17-year-old Michigan City juvenile, the PPD said. Cheek was transported to the Porter County Jail and the 17-year-old to the Porter County Juvenile Detention Center.

A third person in the suspect vehicle was “questioned and ultimately released,” the PPD said. “A review of all the facts and evidence as the investigation continues will determine if this subject will be charged at a later date.”

“The Portage Police officers and detectives, Michigan City detectives, and agents with the FBI worked seamlessly to put many pieces together last evening to bring an end to this multi-jurisdictional crime spree,” Portage Police Chief Troy Williams said. “It must be noted that the professionalism and calmness under stress by the employees of Chase Bank cannot be overstated. They were a main factor in this case being resolved so quickly.”

“Bank robbers put the lives of bank employees and customers at risk,” U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch II said. “I will continue to work with state and local law enforcement to ensure that bank robbers and other violent offenders in the Northern District of Indiana are brought to justice.”



Posted 8/2/2018




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