Police eye string of armed robberies; at least 2 connected

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Police are investigating a string of armed robberies. All of them happened Monday morning on the city’s south side. At least three were caught on surveillance cameras.

Police believe at least two are connected and are trying to determine if all were committed by the same suspects.

The first happened around 1:30 a.m. at Mobil gas station on Shelby Street near Troy Avenue.

About an hour and a half later, the second occurred at Village Pantry convenience store on State Street near Prospect.

Around 4:30 a.m., a Shell gas station on Madison Avenue near Pleasant Run Parkway was targeted.

The fourth robbery took place around 5 a.m. at the Marathon Food Mart on Prospect Street near Keystone Avenue.

At just after 1 a.m. Monday morning, video shows the clerk taking advantage of downtime. He begins to play on his phone. Then, a customer walks into the store, or so he thought.

It was actually a masked gunman. Before the clerk even gets behind the counter, he knows exactly what’s happening. He raises both hands. You see him fill the suspect’s bag with money from the cash register. He then gives the suspect his cellphone, and then empties the second register into the robber’s bag. The suspect leads him to the safe. The clerk tries to open it, but cannot. Finally the suspect forces him to hand over the store’s phone. He’s told if he doesn’t comply, he’ll be shot. The masked man leaves. The clerk couldn’t call police right away. He didn’t have a phone to do so.

That was the last time the clerk will step foot in that store.

“He is like a 20-year-old young kid. He doesn’t want to die. So, he said he doesn’t want to work,” said Mobil owner Mike Singh.

Singh said the clerk’s station is protected with bulletproof glass. However, the clerk did not close its door. Singh says the suspect got away with about $3,000, an iPhone and the store’s phone.

Just up the road, on State Street, at Village Pantry, the robbery suspect was home before police arrived. No word on what, if anything, they got away with.

At Shell on Madison Avenue, the masked men try to rob the clerk. One goes to the side door to get into the clerk’s station, but it’s locked. The bulletproof window isn’t locked, however.

Gurwinder Singh and his dad own the location. After his dad tricked the suspects, Singh said they ran off.

“They were not able to get any money. My dad offered, ‘Hey listen, I’ll give you the money.’ He moved to the side. He wasn’t on the phone with anybody. He acted like he was calling somebody and they just took off,” Singh said.

The final robbery happened around 5 a.m. at Marathon Food Mart on Prospect Street. A customer, who is paying for his merchandise, turns around only to have a gun pointed right at his head. He drops to the floor with his hands up. The suspects try to get into the enclosed clerk’s station. It was locked, and they ran off without any money.

The suspects in the video appear to be the same suspects from the Shell robbery that happened about 30 minutes before. They are wearing the same clothes.

“It’s just unfortunate. We work hard and somebody comes and tries to take it,” said Gurwinder Singh.

There were no reported injuries. The suspects are still at large. Call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS with any information that could help in this investigation.

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