The man accused of carrying-out a string of robberies in Northern Indiana was indicted on Wednesday, and cooperating authorities say an “ongoing criminal nuisance” has been stopped.
A press conference was held on Thursday at City Hall in Crown Point where the charges against 50-year-old James Hunley were announced. He is alleged to have robbed multiple retail and convenience store locations in the Northwest Indiana Region, as well as Plymouth and North Judson between March 7th and March 14th of this year.
Crown Point Police Chief Pete Land was not alone in saying the investigation was resolved quickly.
“It’s my belief this person is responsible for four robberies,” says Land. “Thankfully it did not reach a point where anybody was hurt: any citizens, especially law enforcement officers. So I’m glad he was taken into custody as quick as he was.”
It was learned earlier this month authorities were cooperating on an investigation after surveillance footage showed the perpetrator wearing the same white hat, black hooded sweatshirt, and jeans in each of the incidents. Investigators allege Hunley indicated the presence of a firearm during the robberies to steal around $1,500 from Dollar General and Walgreens locations.
Federal agents involved themselves to locate Hunley – who was tracked down on March 17th near Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is currently in the custody of U.S. Marshalls, but according to U.S. Attorney for the Northern Indiana District David Capp, Hunley is anticipated to be transported to Northern Indiana sometime next week. An explanation for why Hunley traveled to Oklahoma is still under investigation.
Authorities opted to use the federal Hobbs Act to file the four charges. The law prevents individuals from interfering with interstate commerce, in which Walgreens and Dollar General stores participate, through robbery and other means. Capp says this case shows a commitment to use the resources the Hobbs Act provides.
“This is a team effort, state and local and federal and we are not going to tolerate these armed robberies in our community,” says Capp. “We’re going to continue as a team and, when appropriate, we’re going to bring the full weight of a federal prosecution against these perpetrators.”
Capp says, assuming Hunley is convicted, he anticipates a significant federal prison sentence.
Local authorities in Starke and Marshall County were credited during Thursday’s press conference for their role in providing assistance in the investigation that led to Hunley’s arrest.