Series of robberies show cell phone stores remain a frequent target for thieves

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Cell phone stores have become a frequent target for thieves as police investigate a series of business robberies in recent months.

In one crime caught on camera in March, two men walked into a Metro PCS store on 38th street and filled up two trash bags of phones.

One of thieves appears to be wearing a Wonder Woman hoodie. After the robbery, both suspects ran away.

The robbery is one crime in what has been a series of robberies at cell phone stores around central Indiana.

On Monday, three men robbed a Boost Mobile store on High School road and just hours later a Verizon store on Keystone got hit.

Police say there’s a reason cell phones are being stolen by the dozen.

“It’s a very marketable item. It’s easy to sell and everyone needs them, so the demand is sky high,” said Daniel Rosenberg with Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana.

Just last month in another case, Speedway police released pictures of two men wearing hoodies who stole close to $30,000 in phones from a Verizon store on Crawfordsville road.

The same day, a Sprint store and an AT&T store on Indy’s south side were robbed.

Similar robberies have also been reported in Lebanon, Noblesville, Camby and more in recent weeks.

“It’s an easy way for them to make cash,” said Rosenberg. “It’s kind of like the sneakers of old. These are the things they like to trade and can sell out there on the street pretty easily.”

In fact, stolen phones often end up on the secondary market like OfferUp and cell phone store employees say people often buy used phones before realizing they’re being ripped off.

“We see that all the time. I mean when someone brings in a phone to activate it it’s a roll of the dice. I can’t give you exact stats but one out of four phones I would say bought on the street are ones we can’t even activate,” said Verizon manager Jacob Wethington after his Verizon store was robbed in April.

“These suspects are probably not going to stop until we get out there and figure out who they are and get them under control, because right now they’re out of control,” said Rosenberg.

As always, anyone with information on the suspects in any of the unsolved robberies can contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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