Police believe serial robber targeted Hispanic customers at east side check cashing business

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Police say several Hispanic men on the east side of Indianapolis were stalked and robbed by an accused serial robber. One suspect is now behind bars following the series of crimes.

According to court records, after being taken into custody, the accused thief, Tyvon Crawford, confessed he repeatedly targeted Hispanic victims and said he didn’t act alone.

In a snow-covered alley behind a home on Station Street, an Indianapolis man found himself ambushed by the armed thief last week.

“A guy pointed a gun at him and was like, ‘Give me your phone. Give me your wallet,’” said Aramis Ortiz.

Aramis says the family dog startled the robber, who fired one shot at the dog and two more shots at his father. Luckily, no one got hit.

Police say that crime was the last in a series of armed stickups involving Crawford, who police arrested following the shooting.

According to investigators, Crawford and a pair of accomplices would wait outside two PLS check cashing locations on East Washington and stalk Hispanic customers.

After his arrest, Crawford himself allegedly admitted he would, “Watch and see if the customers were given money… then follow the customers home and attempt to rob them.”

This month, one PLS customer was robbed at a home on Gray Street, another on East Washington, a third at a house on Pleasant Run Parkway and two more in the alley behind a home on Tacoma.

An affidavit explains how Crawford told police he and two other suspects committed the robberies. Although he didn’t reveal the names of his accomplices, Crawford supposedly explained the group would divide the stolen money among whoever was involved.

The victim’s families believe Crawford thought the Hispanic men would be easy targets, who might be afraid to reach out to police for help.

“I believe it’s a language barrier thing and with what’s going on with politics, he thinks they may not file a report,” said Ortiz. “I believe that’s the situation. He thought they were vulnerable. He could rob them and nothing will happen.”

Crawford is due in court Tuesday morning. In the meantime, because there may be additional suspects, police say the case remains an active investigation.

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