Rash of recent robberies has detectives searching for links

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 5, 2016) - Indianapolis Metropolitan Police detectives are working to determine if several armed robberies at a gas station on the northeast side of the city could be the work of the same suspect or group of suspects.

In less than three weeks, employees at the Speedway station located at 82nd Street and Allisonville Road have become victims of armed robbery three different times. The robberies all happened between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. on March 19, March 23 and April 5. In each case, a lone suspect armed with a handgun walked into the store and demanded money. Each time, the suspect got away after forcing the store clerk to remove money from the cash drawer.

“Detectives are looking at it possibly being linked, all three of those being linked,” said IMPD Officer Jim Gillespie. “But right now they’re still in the beginning stages of the investigation so they can not say that officially.”

In the first and third robberies, police reports say the suspect was wearing a ski mask. The clerk in each case described the suspect as being a black male in his late teens or early 20s, wearing all dark clothing. The suspect in each of those cases was described as being either 5’ 2’’ or 5’ 5’’ with a thin build.

In the second robbery, the police report said “the clerk described the suspect as a possibly Latino male who was possibly late teens or early twenties wearing all black.” The report did not mention a mask.

An employee at the Speedway station who did not want to be identified said the handgun used in each robbery appeared to be the same model and color. IMPD did not release that weapon description to protect the active investigation.

During the first two robberies, the store clerk lost sight of the suspect after he ran northbound from the store. But during the April 5 robbery, the suspect was seen running to a green, box-style van with white stripes. The van then left eastbound on 82nd Street. It is not known if there was a second person waiting in the van.

Gillespie said it would help the investigation if the robberies do turn out to be connected to a single suspect or group.

“Because then when we are able to identify that suspect, then we know we can get him off the street,” Gillespie said.

Detectives are examining surveillance video from all three robberies to compare similarities and differences between the cases.

“And they will of course be going over that with a fine tooth comb to see if they can match up any suspects in any prior robberies or current incidents that are going on across the city,” Gillespie said.

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