Suspect used 'blunt object' to hit Charley's East Side Liquors

Kenneth Ashley

MICHIGAN CITY – A 62-year-old Michigan City man is behind bars Friday after being charged with the armed robbery of a liquor store on Michigan Boulevard earlier this week.

Kenneth Wayne Ashley was formally charged Friday in La Porte County Superior Court 1 with one count of armed robbery as a Level 3 felony after Judge Michael Bergerson found probably cause, according to a statement from Michigan City Police. He is currently being held at the La Porte County Jail on a $25,000 cash-only bond.

About 11 a.m. Wednesday, a man walked into Charley’s East Side Liquor at 1509 E. Michigan Blvd. with a portion of his face covered and a "blunt force object" in his hand, according to police.

He demanded money from the cashier, which she supplied, and then he ran from the store with an unknown amount of cash.

Responding officers gathered evidence, including images from the liquor store's video surveillance system, according to police. The immediate area was searched, but the suspect was not located. Images from the video surveillance system were then distributed to all MCPD officers in an attempt to identify the suspect.

At about 9 a.m. Thursday, Officers Al Schutz and Dave Baker were in the area of East 6th Street and Cedar Street when Schutz saw a man walking who was wearing clothing identical to that of the suspect in the robbery from the day before, police said.

Identified as Ashley, he was taken to the police station, where he was questioned by Det. Sgt. Kevin Urbanczyk and other detectives who were investigating the robbery.

During the course of the investigation, additional evidence was obtained, and Ashley was positively identified as the suspect, police said.

Ashley is scheduled to make his initial appearance in Superior Court 1 on Tuesday, according to court records.

Police Chief Dion Campbell commended the communication and teamwork shown in the investigation between the MCPD Investigative and patrol divisions.

“It is because of the open line of communication and teamwork between all divisions within this agency that allows serious crimes such as this to come to a speedy conclusion," he said.

He also applauded the efforts of Officer Schutz and Officer Baker for having the "situational awareness to identify this subject and take swift action to protect the citizens of Michigan City."

The investigation is ongoing and future arrests/charges are possible. If anyone has any information that would assist in this investigation, contact Detective/Sergeant Kevin Urbanczyk at 219-874-3221 Ext: 1042.

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