BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — Police have not yet made an arrest in a crime spree that started with a car jacking, led to a couple armed robberies and ended with a high speed chase along Interstate 65 from Bartholomew County to Marion County.
Police say it started around midnight Wednesday night at Speedway gas station in Clermont with a strong armed car jacking. The victim was trying to fill up his tank, but before he could do so, he was confronted by two men with guns.
“It seems a little surreal. I’ve been a firefighter for 16 years, but I’ve never had a gun pointed at me,” said Jeff Petri.
As a firefighter, Petri faces danger daily. But what he experienced on Thursday was terrifying even by his standards.
“Had on half masks and, like I said, they were armed, looked like glocks and very aggressively forced me away from the vehicle,” said Petri.
In his white Hummer, the suspects took off, tossing his phone out of the window, Petri says. He grabbed it and called 911.
The next stop in this crime spree, police say, landed three suspects at the Knights Inn hotel in Seymour. Early Thursday morning state police released pictures captured from surveillance cameras inside the hotel.
“We’re very much trying to locate these individuals who have now proven they are not capable of living in a free society. What’s important is getting these people off the street,” said Sgt. John Perrine.
The suspects apparently hadn’t terrorized enough. After Seymour, police say they headed to Columbus for a second robbery, this time at a Rickers gas station.
“We’re most concerned about the safety of employees, and fortunately the only thing they got are things we can replace,” Rickers chairman, Jay Ricker, said.
From Columbus they got on I-65. Troopers spotted them, and that’s when the suspects led them on a chase. Police say speeds reached up to 100 mph. Police used stop sticks, the tires deflated. The car came to a crashing stop at the Berkley Commons Apartments in south Indianapolis. The suspects ran off. Police had K-9 officers out, and a helicopter flew above to assist in the search.
Also searching was Petri, who had hoped up find his Hummer in one piece. Aside from scratches and flat tires, he’s optimistic.
“Tough vehicle I guess. We’ll see how it drives after all if this. Need to get some new wheels, I guess,” he said.
Police say they’re holding two men for questioning. However, they’re calling them people of interest, not suspects.
There were no serious injuries reported.