Victim Recognizes Man Charged in Whiting Robbery in Photos on Facebook

Victor A. Espinoza, 29, of Munster, was arrested on charges he robbed a Hammond man, who had been lured to a Whiting alley by the suspect’s girlfriend, court records show.  The suspect is accused of taking $113 and a cellphone while he held a handgun in the victim’s ribs on Monday in an alley in the 1500 block of Fischrupp Avenue in Whiting, according to Lake Criminal Court records.

The Hammond man told police he had received a text from a Whiting woman, whom he has known for years.  She asked the man to meet her in the alley on Fischrupp Avenue.  After they met in the alley, the woman got into his pickup truck and they talked.  She then said she received a text from her daughter, got out and walked to the rear of the truck.  A man, later identified as Espinoza, walked out from between houses carrying a semi-automatic handgun and robbed the victim.

Espinoza allegedly told the victim to drive away after the robbery and he drove directly to the Whiting Police Department.  The victim told police he saw Espinoza and the woman walking away together.  T

The victim recognized the suspect as the woman’s boyfriend in photos on her Facebook page.  He later identified Espinoza in a photo lineup as the person who robbed him. Whiting Police Chief Steve Miller said the investigation remains ongoing.