Technology helps IMPD track down man accused of ripping off two different 65-year-old women

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- An Indianapolis man was arrested after allgedly ripping off two different 65-year-old women.

The pair of crimes, which left one of the victims with a broken collarbone, took place last week.

Around 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 30, IMPD officers were dispatched to Kroger at 2600 E. 65th Street. A woman told them she was loading groceries into her vehicle when a man came up and pulled her purse off her shoulder, knocking her down and injuring her.

Witnesses gave police a description of the suspect and said he fled the scene in a gray SUV. Detectives reviewed the case and discovered shoplifting cases involving a similar vehicle. They identified the suspect as 35-year-old Shane Baker and obtained surveillance video showing him using a credit card stolen from the robbery to put gas in a gray Ford Escape at the BP located at 52nd and Keystone Avenue.

Investigators say the case illustrates why the department hopes to invest more money in technology in the years ahead.

“They were able to tie this suspect to a couple different crimes due to technology that’s available,” said IMPD Sgt. Jim Gillespie.

In fact, according to court records, Baker is thought to be involved in several other recent thefts, including stealing the purse from another 65-year-old woman at a different store three days earlier.

“This is just a perfect example of where technology came into play. We did have witness statements, but the technology put the nail in the coffin on it,” said Gillespie.

Moving forward, the city’s 2019 budget includes more crime fighting money for IMPD to help upgrade their technology, from adding and replacing City-run surveillance cameras, to updating the dispatch system to get officers more info in the field.

It’s all meant to help get more accused criminals off the streets.

“We want to integrate cameras in with dispatch so if we have camera and location, the camera can get photos towards the area, so they can be on scene before the officers,” said IMPD deputy chief Valerie Cunningham.

“There’s a lot of exciting things that will allow us to be more effective fighting crime in Indy. It’s great for the community and terrible for the criminals,” said Gillespie.

In addition to the crimes in Marion County, Baker is also being held on unrelated charges out of Putnam County.