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Burned car likely from robbery

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MCCORDSVILLE — A pair of armed robbers are believed to have driven their getaway car from Tippecanoe County to Hancock County and setting it on fire before fleeing the scene.

The burned sport-utility vehicle was found in McCordsville Tuesday and has been traced to an armed robbery in West Lafayette.

Reports from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department indicate the car’s information came back as stolen when it was found Tuesday, but Sheriff Mike Shepherd said he didn’t learn of the car’s connection to the West Lafayette robbery until Friday morning.

A 911 caller alerted police to a fire around 9 p.m. Tuesday, saying he first heard a loud boom and then saw an orange glow from his home. The caller lived about a mile from where emergency responders ultimately found the SUV in the 5200 block of North CR 500W, according to police reports.

When fire officials arrived, they found a Dodge Durango, engulfed in flames, and saw another vehicle that appeared to be fleeing the scene.

The SUV’s vehicle identification number linked it to a stolen vehicle report from West Lafayette. The same vehicle was used in a robbery earlier that day, police later learned.

After the fire was extinguished, police searched the car and found miscellaneous electronics gear, including stereos, VCRs and speakers. It is unclear whether those items, which were damaged in the fire and difficult to identify, had been stolen.

Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputy Russ Silver also found a gas cap in the grass next to the SUV.

The SUV was stolen in West Lafayette and used in a holdup around 12:50 p.m. Tuesday at an area Check into Cash store, the Lafayette Journal and Courier reported this week.

According to reports, the suspects, who are still at large, demanded cash and were armed with a silver handgun. Employees told officers they were unable to signal emergency alarms. They called 911 after the robbers, described as two black men, fled with an undisclosed amount of money.

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