A knock at the door turns into a crime of opportunity when child opens the door

A woman in this photo is a suspect in a Dec. 28, 2017, home robbery in Speedway, Indiana. Police released the photo Jan. 8, 2018. (Photo Provided/Speedway Police Department)


Marion County prosecutors on Jan. 16 filed formal criminal charges against a 46-year-old Indianapolis woman in connection to a case where someone walked into a home and took a wallet after a girl, thinking it was a relative, answered the door.

Lt. Jim Thiele with Speedway Police Department said the woman was identified thanks to surveillance photos.

Melinda Buckmaster was preliminarily charged with burglary and theft. No court date has been set to formally charge Buckmaster.

Buckmaster was found guilty of theft in a case decided in Marion Superior Court, Criminal Division 9, in December 2008 when she was Melinda Clayton.


SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — A knock at the door turned into a crime of opportunity when a young child thought she was opening the door for a relative.

It happened Dec. 28 at a home in the 2100 block of Allison Avenue in Speedway, and police on Monday released the photos of the suspect using the stolen credit cards.

A woman told 24-Hour News 8 her family is traumatized by what happened. She was in another room when her daughter heard a knock and opened the door.

The stranger made her way in, walked over to the kitchen and stole her wallet. Police said the burglary happened in the middle of the day at a home near 21st Street and Allison Avenue.

Anna Allen settled into the neighborhood more than 20 years ago and never had any problems.

“I haven’t had any instances with anybody coming to our door or any of that that or anyone even trying to break into our home or anything,” Allen said.

Allen said she heard about what happened to her neighbors on Nextdoor.

“I mean, that would be scary; I mean ’cause the kids could have been hurt,” Allen said.

The 41-year-old victim did not want to go on camera.

She told 24-Hour News 8 she heard the door alarm go off and thought a relative had stopped by.

She was changing her baby’s diaper in another room when her daughter ran in and told her Elizabeth was here.

The victim said she didn’t know anyone by the name of Elizabeth. But when her daughter told her Elizabeth took something out of your purse, that’s when she ran to check and discovered her wallet was gone.

She said she went to the back door and saw a white car pulling out of her driveway.

“I’m just glad the kids are safe and nothing really happened other than her wallet got stolen,” Allen said.

Police released photos from surveillance Monday morning of the female suspect. She was caught on camera using the stolen credit cards at a CVS drugstore near 16th Street and Tibbs Avenue. The picture showed her wearing a blue winter hat. Police said they believe the man seen on camera was also with her.

The victim said the suspect made 12 different transactions totaling around $1,000.

Police described the getaway car as a white Hyundai or a Lexus four-door with paper plates.

If you recognize the suspect, you’re asked to call Speedway police at (317) 246-4300.