Gunshots fired as Indy business owner protects car lot from thieves

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A business owner on Indy’s near east side dodged bullets while defending his property early Monday.

Indianapolis Metropolitan police officers were called to the shooting around 3:30 a.m. near New York and LaSalle.

The owners of the small car business said thieves have stolen car parts off the property several times in recent months. Monday, one of the owners of Top Shelf Auto Sales noticed footprints in the fresh snow and believed thieves were looking to strike again, so he began keeping an eye on the business.

"We’ve been having issues with vandals and thieves stealing batteries and catalytic converters. We’ve had this happen a few times and it’s just getting tiring," said T.J. Jones.

Jones said his partner spotted a black Pontiac stopped on New York. After the suspects pulled into the closed car lot, gunshots were fired.

"You know when you want to protect your property and what you work hard for, it's fight or flight, and he was willing to fight for what we work hard for," said Jones.

According to the police report, the would-be thieves fired two shots out of a car window and T.J.’s partner fired three shots in the air to scare them away.

"I hope they are deterred. I’m thankful no one was hurt," said Jones. "We just can’t continue to have that happen. Whoever it was, hopefully you don’t come back."

The business does have surveillance cameras and no trespassing signs, but that hasn’t stopped the burglars in the past.  That’s why the owners said the property is now being guarded at gunpoint if needed.

"We’re going to protect ours regardless, by any means. We’ll go to the fullest extent to protect what we work hard for," said Jones.

As always anyone with information on suspects in the case can contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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