FBI Indianapolis
Public Affairs Specialist Chris Bavender
(317) 430-4140
May 8, 2020

Law Enforcement Partnerships Result in 92-Month Sentence for Fort Wayne Man

FORT WAYNE—The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Fort Wayne Resident Agency would like to thank its law enforcement partners for their assistance in the identification, arrest, and conviction of a Fort Wayne man for two armed robberies committed in 2018.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, the Fort Wayne Police Department’s Gang and Robbery Units, the Allen County Sheriff’s Department Detectives Bureau, the Auburn Police Department, and the Indiana State Police Special Investigations Section.

Lonnie J. Gardner, Jr., 32, was sentenced this week in U.S. District Court to 92 months in prison for two 2018 armed robberies in Fort Wayne and Auburn, Indiana. The Court also ordered restitution in the amount of $10,998.

Gardner was arrested after a traffic stop on February 2, 2018. A joint investigation by federal and local law enforcement revealed that on January 5, 2018, a suspect—later identified as Gardner—armed with a handgun and wearing a fake brown beard and hat, robbed the Fort Financial Credit Union located inside a Fort Wayne Meijer store. A total of $1,776.00 was taken during the robbery. The suspect was seen fleeing in a black Jeep Commander.

A short time later, Allen County Police Department officers saw a black Jeep Commander similar to the getaway vehicle within a mile of the Meijer store. During a traffic stop the driver of the Jeep was identified as Gardner. A search of the Jeep found a blue puffy coat and a camouflage stocking hat in the back seat. A receipt dated January 5, 2018, from a finance company near the Meijer store was also found and showed a payment made on the Jeep. Detectives later confirmed, that after robbing the Fort Financial Credit Union, Gardner made a $400 payment on the Jeep with part of the money from the bank robbery.

Gardner was also identified as the armed suspect who robbed the Walmart Customer Service Center located inside an Auburn, Indiana Walmart on January 10, 2018. A total of $4,457.00 was taken during that robbery. After the robbery, the suspect fled and was seen on surveillance video being picked up by another individual driving a black pickup truck.

After his arrest, Gardner admitted to his involvement in the two robberies.