Chesterton Tribune

Portage PD: Woman invented robbery story

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Portage Police investigating a report last week of an armed robbery at the pumps of the Marathon gas station at 6264 U.S. Highway 20 had a hard time initially confirming the victim’s account of events.

The surveillance camera failed to record the incident and the clerk on duty at the time saw nothing suspicious. On top of that, the victim waited at least 10 to 20 minutes to report the robbery.

Turns out, there was a reason for investigators’ frustration: in fact the robbery never occurred, police said.

On Tuesday, the purported victim, Gabrielle Shinall, 19, of 5960 Old Porter Road, No. 108, was charged with misdemeanor false reporting, police said.

“After the detective reviewed surveillance video from the scene, spoke with employees, and interviewed the reported victim, it was determined the robbery was fabricated,” police said.

Shinall admitted falsely reporting the robbery after a relative used her debit/credit card to make unauthorized charges for which she didn’t want to be held responsible, police said.

At 7:02 p.m. May 13, Shinall told police that she was preparing to fuel her vehicle at the Marathon when a male subject approached her, presented a handgun, aimed it at her abdomen, and instructed her to give him “everything.”

Shinall then told police that she gave the man her debit card and purse and that the suspect fled the scene in a gold minivan.


Posted 5/23/2012