BROAD RIPPLE, Ind. (WISH) – Five armed robberies in two days have people around Broad Ripple concerned.
Three happened early Sunday morning a few blocks south of Broad Ripple Avenue near 61st Street and Guilford Avenue. Police believe they’re connected.
Two more happened Monday evening, one near Sunday’s location and another in the 6500 block of Carrollton Avenue. Police believe those two are connected to each other, but it’s not clear if they are related to Sunday’s crimes.
The victims’ stories have many similarities.
They involve a man approaching them at gunpoint, demanding money and their cell phones, then speeding off in a SUV.
“This community is very conducive to safety and family and warmth,” said the mother of one of the victims who asked to remain anonymous.
But no matter how warm and inviting the neighborhood feels, some cold-hearted people have been lurking around Broad Ripple.
“He went right here to the Rich gas station and on his way home is when he was attacked,” she said.
Her 15-year-old son came face to face with an armed robber 6:30 in the evening right outside where they live.
According to a police report, silver SUV described as a Hyundai Santa Fe cut off the victim as he was walking in the parking lot. A masked man jumped out of the passenger seat armed with a handgun and demanded cash. The teen handed over his cell phone and the suspects sped off.
“He says ‘I’ve just been robbed’ and I’m going ‘what happened’ because I’m not hearing these words because ‘I’ve been robbed’ doesn’t fit with Broad Ripple,” she said.
But unfortunately it does for her son and four others who had a gun pulled on them within blocks of each other.
The first robbery happened around 1:30 a.m. in the 6100 block of Guilford Avenue. In the report, the 25-year-old victim said he was in an alley behind his home when a masked man armed with a “long barreled” gun approached him.
When the victim stated he had no money, the suspect forced him into an SUV described as a black or blue Ford Escape. According to the report, they took him to an ATM to withdraw cash and he took out $200. The suspects dropped him near his home, but not before taking a picture of his license and threatening to kill him if he called police.
Just before 3 a.m., police were called to the corner of 61st Street and Carrollton Avenue, two blocks away from the first crime. According to a police report, a 37-year-old woman was walking on the sidewalk when a car pulled up and man got out. He ran up to her holding a “silver long barreled” gun and demanded her belongings. The woman had nothing on her, so the suspect told her to turn around a walk away.
Then around 4:20 a.m., police were called to the 6100 block of Winthrop Avenue. A police report states a delivery driver for Jimmy Johns was walking to his car when a masked man walking nearby pointed a “silver handgun” at him. The suspect demanded cash and the 28-year-old victim handed over about $200. The victim told police the suspect fled in a dark SUV.
Monday evening, a woman was getting out of her car at her detached garage in the 800 block of Paxton Place. The police report states a man approached her while holding a gun and demanded cash. He made off with her cell phone before escaping in a SUV.
“I think it’s sad because now I know that those other people are feeling pretty much like we are, where their safety and security has been shattered,” the mother said.
On weekends, IMPD squad cars line Broad Ripple Avenue to control the bar crowd, but IMPD insists officers also patrol the streets nearby, something the mother we spoke with hopes will happen more often.
“It would definitely perhaps deter something like this. I believe that it should be an ongoing thing,” the mother said.
When a rash of crimes like this happens around Broad Ripple, IMPD says its north district quickly puts together a plan to prevent them and catch the suspects, but they wouldn’t elaborate on the plan.
So what can you do to keep yourself safe around that area?
Police say number one, don’t walk alone.
The broad ripple neighborhoods aren’t well lit. If you are alone, get a ride from a cab or a friend. Also, if you see anything that looks suspicious, don’t be afraid to call police.