Carjacking

MOROCCO — The South Bend man who was apprehended following a carjacking in Newton County is currently being held at the Lake County Jail in connection with armed robberies that occurred in Cedar Lake and Lowell.

Newton County Sheriff’s Office has placed a hold on Victor Edward Cihonski Jr., 61 of South Bend, for several felony charges related to the Monday morning carjacking near Morocco. 

According to the Newton County Sheriff’s Department, around 6:20 a.m. the Newton County Dispatch received a report of a single vehicle crash on US 41 near CR 300W (north of the Morocco overpass).

A Watseka man witnessed the crash and called 911. As the witness was checking on the driver of the crashed vehicle, the driver displayed a gun and forced the Watseka man to drive him in his car. The Watseka man complied and drove Cihonski from the crash scene.

Within a few miles, Cihonski released the Watseka man, unharmed. The suspect then fled east in the stolen vehicle.

Indiana State Master Trooper Jim Strong who was working in Starke County at the time, heard the dispatch and description of the stolen car, a gray Chrysler Sebring with Illinois plates, and went to the US 30 and SR 39 area. Strong went east bound on US 30 and as he approached Oak Road and US 30 in Plymouth he saw the vehicle. Strong attempted to make a traffic stop but the driver of the Chrysler fled going south onto US 31. The driver, a white older male, attempted to make a right turn onto 14C Road, but was going too fast and went off the road into the ditch on the right side.

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Trooper Strong made a felony stop and held the driver until Plymouth Police and Marshall County Sheriff’s Department arrived and they took the driver into custody.

Anyone that witnessed the Morocco crash or carjacking should call 219-474-6081 EXT 3108 to speak to Deputy Fellmy.

This case remains an active investigation. Additional details are expected to be released within 24 hours.

Assisting agencies included Newton County EMS, Newton County EMA, Morocco Fire, Jasper County Sheriff, Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police, Cedar Lake Police and Lake County Sheriff’s Office.