Visclosky robbed outside grocery store Sunday, December 16, 2007 12:05 AM CST Post a Comment | Email this story | Print this story http://nwitimes.com/articles/2007/12/16/news/top_news/doc56c48272a8f4c14c862573b3000c4f5d.txt BY BILL DOLAN [email protected] 219.662.5328 MERRILLVILLE | Police are looking for a man who robbed U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky on Friday night outside a local supermarket. "It was terrifying," the 11-term Democratic congressman from Merrillville said Saturday while describing the strong-arm robbery, which he said probably lasted less than a minute. Visclosky said he doesn't think his assailant knew him because a witness said the suspect had been hanging around the store for a while. "I think I was just a target of opportunity." Visclosky said the robbery happened shortly after 9 p.m. as he was walking alone with groceries to his car, which was parked outside the south Merrillville market. "I was putting my grocery bag on the back seat when I was grabbed from behind. I never saw it coming. He told me to 'Give it up.' twice. I thought it was going to be a carjacking." He said the man, who he described as black and "shorter than me" demanded Visclosky's wallet and keys. "He said, 'Don't move.' He ran off around the north side of the building. He may have had somebody waiting with a car." Visclosky said the robber escaped with about $10 in cash, plus his credit cards, which have been cancelled. He said his keys were found in the parking lot. Visclosky praised town police as responding with speed and professionalism. He said they used a police dog to try to track the suspect. Town Council President Sean Pettit said Saturday police are doing everything to catch the man. "It's an unfortunate situation that happens about this time of year because of the holiday." Town Councilman Richard Hardaway said Saturday, "I'm appalled anyone would approach the congressman to rob him." Hardaway said he and family members shop at the store themselves. "It is unfortunate that there were no cameras out there to catch this man on video. Maybe this will prompt the businesses to install cameras," Hardaway said. Assistant Police Chief Joe Petruch and Police Operations Cmdr. Lance Huish couldn't be reached Saturday afternoon for comment. There were 27 robberies last year in Merrillville, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report. The annual total has varied between 18 and 41 between 1997 and 2006. What happened U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, a Democrat who lives in Merrillville, was robbed about 9 p.m. Friday outside a south Merrillville grocery store as he was putting his groceries in his car. He was not injured. The robber got away with $10 cash, credit cards and the congressman's keys. The credit cards have been cancelled and the keys were found. Police are looking for the robber.