INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- A 60-year-old man who was beaten unconscious and robbed in his Indianapolis home Monday morning told police he believes he was set up by at least one member of his own family.
The incident occurred around 6:30 Monday morning at the man’s home in the 600 block of North Lyons Avenue. He told police a awoke to somebody coming into his house through a back door. The intruder beat the man, knocking him unconscious, before taking off with more than $4,000 cash.
During the investigation, the man told officers “that he believes his niece… set him up to be robbed by her boyfriend,” according to an IMPD incident report.
IMPD said "It is believed the victim was targeted because of a large sum of money in the victim’s possession."
A few hours after the robbery, FOX59 visited the home and spoke to a woman who identified herself as the victim’s niece. She said she lives with her uncle and had left the house around 2:30 a.m. Monday. The home invasion happened roughly four hours later. Police said there did not appear to be forced entry into the home.
As we were speaking to the niece, IMPD officers arrived back on scene to talk to her. They told her, “we already have your buddy, now the detective wants to talk to you.”
The officers told the woman she was not under arrest at that time, but she was being taken in for questioning.
Monday afternoon, police announced the arrest of William Joerendt on robbery and battery charges. Police say Joerendt is the niece’s boyfriend, supporting the victim’s claims of a setup.
IMPD Sergeant Kendale Adams said the victim’s niece had not been arrested as of late Monday afternoon, but the investigation was still ongoing.
The victim who was beaten and robbed has a long criminal history of his own, and was living on house arrest. Court records show multiple cases involving drugs, guns, theft and burglary going back several years.
One neighbor said the robbery did not come as a shock to her.
“It didn’t surprise be because he did let a lot of people know that he had money,” said Janice Frescura-Kline.
Police who were questioning persons of interest in the case said the incident remained an open investigation.