Crown Point man charged with stealing handgun, computer from cars

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Robert C. Garza | Crown Point police

A 19-year-old man and two juveniles are facing charges after they allegedly stole a handgun, laptop computer and other items from several cars in northwest Indiana.

Robert C. Garza was charged with three counts of theft, and two juveniles were each charged with one count of theft, according to a statement from Crown Point police. One of the juveniles was also charged with criminal trespass.

About 7 a.m. Tuesday, police received several calls from people reporting that their vehicles had been burglarized during the night, authorities said. A handgun, laptop computer and knives were among the stolen items.

About 5:30 p.m., officers observed a juvenile with a group of people at Jerry Ross Park at 341 W. North St., police said. The juvenile had previously been given a trespass warning and told that he was not allowed in the park.

The officers then noticed a black backpack near the group, police said. When one of the officers searched Garza, they found an orange and gray pocket knife that had been reported stolen from one of the vehicles. They also found the stolen laptop in the black backpack.

The handgun and other stolen items were later located inside an abandoned building in the 900 block of East North Street, police said. During the investigation, authorities learned that Garza had been sleeping in the abandoned building, and that he and the juveniles had burglarized the cars and hid the stolen items in the building.

Garza’s next court date was not immediately available.

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