On Tuesday, January 12th, 2021 at approximately 3:58 P.M., the LaPorte County Regional Dispatch Center received a 911 call from an on-duty loss prevention employee at Meijer (5150 Franklin Street) who reported an adult male customer was creating a disturbance inside the store. The customer left Meijer in a vehicle prior to the arrival of Officer Kelly Williams from Uniform Patrol Shift 2.

Officer Williams learned during his investigation the customer passed all points of purchase and exited the store without paying for all the merchandise in his possession. An on-duty loss prevention employee approached the customer to inform him that he did not pay for all the merchandise in his possession. It was during this time when the customer displayed a knife at the loss prevention employee and threatened to inflict serious bodily injury to her.

Detective Arwen LaMotte from the Investigative Division continued with the investigation and identified the suspect as 55-year old Michigan City resident Richard Cope. She eventually forwarded her completed investigation to the LaPorte County Prosecutor’s Office for review. The LaPorte County Prosecutor’s Office filed a criminal charge of Robbery (Level 3 Felony) against Cope after reviewing the evidence and entire case. An arrest warrant was issued for Cope from LaPorte County Superior Court # 1 for one count of Robbery (Level 3 Felony) on February 2nd, 2021.

Officers Adam Brinkman and Andrew Paull from Uniform Patrol Shift 1 subsequently searched for and located Cope in the 5800 block of Franklin Street shortly after the arrest warrant was issued. He was taken into custody by an officer from Uniform Patrol Shift 1 and transported to the LaPorte County Jail. Cope was issued a $25,000.00 cash only bond and his initial court appearance will take place in LaPorte County Superior Court # 1 on February 9th, 2021 at 08:30 A.M. Attached to this press release is a copy of Cope’s arrest photo courtesy of the LaPorte County Jail.

We would also like to remind the public that you can contact us via Facebook Messenger, through our crime tip hotline number of 219-873-1488, or you can also call the WeTip Hotline for General Crime (800) 78-CRIME and possibly receive a reward upon an arrest and conviction. All WeTip call information is sent directly to the LaPorte County Prosecutor’s Office. You can always request to remain anonymous!

Arrests and criminal charges are mere accusations. Every person is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.