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Two men charged for multiple crimes in La Porte, St. Joseph counties

Two men have been arrested for their alleged involvement in multiple armed robberies, thefts and burglaries in La Porte and St. Joseph counties.

The suspects have been identified as 28-year-old Timothy E. Bennitt and 32-year-old Nathan D. Kellogg.

The incidents began on January 3 and lasted until Bennitt's arrest on January 16.

Overall, 14 firearms, a gun safe, and hundreds of dollars in cash have been reported stolen. Some are still missing.

One business that was hit on January 14 is Blacksmith Shoppe Restaurant in Rolling Prairie.

“That’s one thing about this town—one person hurts, everybody hurts," said long-time resident Iva Wasielewski.

The restaurant's owner of 15 years agrees.

“I wasn’t here. My employees were. He came in through our back door and put a gun to them and my customers and told them to lay down on the ground," said Diane Dehne, the restaurant's owner.

“I was hysterical when I got here—just the thought that something could have happened," she said.

Luckily, no one was hurt, and police caught the suspects just two days after they allegedly robbed the Blacksmith Shoppe.

Bennitt was arrested in South Bend on January 16, and Kellogg was arrested on January 23 in La Porte County.

“It’s a small town. People talk, and that’s how they did get caught," said Dehne.

The La Porte County Sheriff's Office says it has been working with investigators from La Porte City Police, South Bend Police, Mishawaka Police, and St. Joseph County Police since the crime spree began in early January.

The La Porte County Sheriff's Office says Bennitt has been linked to the following crimes:

  • Vehicle theft in South Bend, Indiana
  • Two residential burglaries on CR 800 N in La Porte County, Indiana [Additional details]
  • Business burglary at Jenny Rae’s restaurant in La Porte County, Indiana [Additional details]
  • Armed robbery of Burger King in La Porte, Indiana [Additional details]
  • Armed robbery of Blacksmith Shop restaurant in Rolling Prairie, Indiana [Additional details]
  • Armed robbery of Admiral Gas Station in St. Joseph County, Indiana
  • Armed robbery of Taco Bell in South Bend, Indiana
  • Armed robbery of Jet’s Pizza in Mishawaka, Indiana
  • Theft at Kohl’s store in Mishawaka, Indiana
  • Theft at Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Mishawaka, Indiana

The La Porte County Sheriff's Office says Kellogg has been linked to the following crimes:

  • Armed robbery of Blacksmith Shop restaurant in Rolling Prairie, Indiana [Additional details]
  • Armed robbery of Admiral Gas Station in St. Joseph County, Indiana
  • Armed robbery of Taco Bell in South Bend, Indiana
  • Armed robbery of Jet’s Pizza in Mishawaka, Indiana

Both have a $25,000.00 bond in La Porte County with other charges pending in other jurisdictions. 

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