Robbery suspects kept police busy on Monday night.
During a stretch from 8:45 and 11 p.m., five businesses in Mishawaka and South Bend were robbed, including four by assailants armed with guns.
A total of four arrests were made in two of the cases.
In Mishawaka, the Family Dollar in the 400 block E. 4th Street and the Pizza Hut in the 300 block of Lincoln Way West were robbed at 8:45 and 10:26 p.m., respectively.
Three teenagers were later arrested in the Family Dollar case.
And in South Bend, the Arby’s in the 3400 block of Lincoln Way West, the 7-Eleven in the 2200 block of Mishawaka Avenue and the Family Dollar in the 2400 block of Lincoln Way West all reported robberies in the evening.
It doesn’t appear that the cases are all connected because arrests were made in the Pizza Hut and the South Bend Family Dollar cases.
Two of the South Bend cases — 7-Eleven and Arby’s — are likely connected, South Bend Lt. Cindy Kilgore said.
In the Arby’s case, a male suspect reportedly jumped over the counter about 9:25 p.m., pointed a gun at the manager and demanded money.
The assailant took the cash and went south through a wooded area, police said. A K-9 unit was not able to pick up his tracks.
Kilgore said the robber is likely the same man from the 7-Eleven case, which occurred at 10:49 p.m. In both of those instances, the suspect was wearing a blue and white or black and white bandanna across his face and a yellow beanie.
At 7-Eleven, the man pulled a hood over his head and pointed a black semi-automatic gun at an employee and pulled money out of a register before leaving.
“It sounds like it could be the same guy,” Kilgore said.
Mishawaka police, meanwhile, were able to catch the suspects in the Family Dollar case.
A male teenager reportedly entered the business and pointed a gun at a clerk’s head and demanded money. The employee was so nervous, that another nearby employee handed the cash to the assailant, who left the store in a vehicle going southbound, police said.
Officers stopped the vehicle a short time later and arrested two 15-year-old boys and a 16-year-old boy, all from Indianapolis, during a stop in an alley near West 4th and Spring streets. They were reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed with their lights off down the alley.
They were taken to the Thomas N. Frederick Juvenile Justice Center.
The car they were in was reported stolen out of Indianapolis and belongs to a pizza delivery driver who was carjacked and robbed at gunpoint during a delivery. It is unclear if the three teenagers were involved in the Indianapolis case.
In the Pizza Hut robbery, a female armed with a gun and wearing a bandanna over her face came in and demanded money out of the cash drawers. She grabbed as much as she could and ran out the store, police said.
Fifteen minutes prior to the robbery, a man who reportedly came into the store and ordered hot wings was acting suspiciously for unknown reasons, according to a police report. It is unclear if he had any part in the robbery, police said.
The South Bend Family Dollar case actually started as a shoplifting, when a 48-year-old woman was allegedly caught taking cash from a box under the register.
When a manager tried to detain her, she reportedly hit him on the head. The woman, who was taken into custody, did not have a weapon, police said.
People with information about the Mishawaka cases are asked to call the detective bureau at 574-288-STOP or Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP.
Staff writer Tom Moor: