Juveniles tied to many Marion County pharmacy robberies, police say
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 22, 2015) – Three teens and one adult, the youngest of the group a 14-year-old boy, are accused of robbing a Walgreens pharmacy at gunpoint.
IMPD officials say juveniles are now primary suspects in pharmacy robberies in Marion County.
The latest robbery of a Walgreens on 38th Street and Post Road is tied to three teenage boys, ages 17, 15, and 14.
“It’s very concerning because it’s like you can’t go to the store without something happening,” said Shante Byrd.
Byrd lives just a couple blocks from the Walgreens on East 38th and Post Road.
“It’s very upsetting because you shouldn’t have to think something like that is going to happen when you’re just going to pick up some medicine,” she said.
Sunday afternoon, the pharmacy was robbed at gunpoint. Later that day, a tip to police led them to three teens, the youngest 14 years old, and a 25-year-old man. Police say the group is tied to anywhere from four to 10 pharmacy robberies in Marion County.
“I wish we had more security and officers around here because it’s just like a lot happens over here and it doesn’t seem like there’s much concern,” said Byrd.
The Walgreens is the neighborhood’s only pharmacy. There are concerns now over security there, and at pharmacies throughout the county.
“They need to have more. If it’s that bad they need to have more. Alarms at the door, whatever it needs, but they need to protect people that work in there as well as other people that are shopping in there as well,” said one woman who frequently visits the pharmacy.
Employees at the store said it does not have a permanent security guard, and as far as they knew, there wouldn’t be one any time soon.
“As of June 18th, there have been 88 reported pharmacy robberies since January 1st of 2015,” said IMPD officer Rafael Diaz.
There have been 88 reported pharmacy robberies this year, with IMPD officials saying too many having been committed by juveniles.
“More troubling I think is the fact that juveniles are now being inserted to commit these robberies,” said Diaz.
IMPD officers are now instructed to make routine stops at area pharmacies, in an effort to deter would be robbers.
“Districts have been instructing their officers to make more patrols. I myself have stopped at pharmacies in the area I used to work to let them know, hey we’re here,” said Diaz.
IMPD officials have been in talks with corporate pharmacies to see if there are any security strategies they can implement to make their stores safer.
The four men arrested Sunday IMPD officials say, could face federal charges. They are being investigated by the FBI’s violent crime unit.