Police believe armed robberies of Beech Grove business, pizza delivery driver are connected

UPDATE (July 10, 2018) -- John Ziegler was arrested in connection with the case. He pleaded guilty to armed robbery and theft. Charges of criminal confinement and a separate armed robbery charge were dismissed as part of a plea agreement. He was sentenced to 9 years on the armed robbery charge with 5 years suspended. He'll serve the first three years in the Department of Correction followed by a year in Marion County Community Corrections. He was also sentenced to a year on the theft charge, which will be served concurrently with the other sentence.

BEECH GROVE, Ind. – Police are looking for a pair of thieves after two armed robberies in Beech Grove that happened minutes apart.

According to the Beech Grove Police Department, the men walked into Expo Bowl at 5261 Elmwood Ave., pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded money. It happened around 7:10 p.m. on Nov. 26.

An employee said two men, who had their faces partially covered, told her to empty the cash register. They entered through the laser tag entrance, the employee said.

One of the men told her to “have a blessed day, b****" while leaving the business, according to the incident report.

"While that was being investigated there was another armed robbery report," said Beech Grove Detective Robert Mercuri.

About 25 minutes later, police responded to a robbery involving a pizza delivery driver at a nearby apartment complex located at 4473 Willow Bend Dr.

"Here he is on a Sunday after Thanksgiving out delivering pizzas and they choose to set him up and get the money an easy and illegal way," said Detective Mercuri.

The driver said he arrived at a second-floor apartment to find no one was home. While he was leaving, two men and a woman confronted him. One of them pointed a gun at his head and told him to "get on the ground." They took cash, his phone and his car, a Tan 2002 Honda Civic.

"I do not care about my money but my car...that is kind of a buster," said the delivery driver.

The driver ran back to the Papa John's at 4907 S. Emerson Ave because he no longer had his phone or his car.

Beech Grove police believe the two robberies are connected and released surveillance video of the two suspects from the Expo Bowl case. One wore a camouflage hooded Batman sweatshirt that was pulled over his head along with a hat and a bandana.

The second suspect wore a light-colored hooded sweatshirt with a hat and bandana as well. He was the one who pointed the gun at the clerk, police said. He also removed his bandana during the robbery, giving surveillance cameras a clear view of his face.

Anyone with information should contact the Beech Grove Police Department or Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.