Munster closes Calumet Avenue as looting precaution: police

Looting in Chicago Sunday night into Monday morning put one Illinois-bordering Northwest Indiana town into lockdown mode again after several days in early June at the height of the police brutality protests.

Munster Police spokesman Lt. John Peirick said in a release Monday afternoon that “out of an abundance of caution,” the town would close off northbound Calumet Avenue at Ridge Road and Calumet Avenue at River Drive in both directions “until further notice.” The town opted to follow the leads of Calumet City, Illinois; and Lansing, Illinois, after the two municipalities received information that looters could be heading their way, Peirick said.

As of Monday afternoon, Munster Police, along with the giant stone wall across Calumet Avenue before the Interstate 80-94 exit ramps, would handle any problems that showed up, Peirick said in an email. Neighboring departments, however, along with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department and the Indiana State Police would be called in if needed, he said.

The City of Hammond, on the other hand, hadn’t closed its borders, Hammond Police spokesman Lt. Steve Kellogg said Monday afternoon. Neither had the Town of Highland, police spokesman Lt. John Banasiak said, though the department would be increasing patrol units during afternoon and evening hours.

Whiting Police Detective Capt. Sam Abner said the city wasn’t expecting any problems, especially since the city doesn’t have any big-box stores. As such, the department would continue normally, he said.

Michelle L. Quinn is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.

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