INDIANAPOLIS – Police arrested two teenagers accused in a series of armed robberies targeting food delivery drivers.
According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the investigation began on Nov. 10. Investigators believe a 17-year-old male and a 15-year-old male were involved in series of crimes.
Two of the robberies occurred just a day apart at addresses in the 4000 block of Steelewater Way on the northeast side. The first happened around 8:45 p.m. on Nov. 8 while the second was reported the next day around 5:30 p.m.
According to IMPD incident reports, the Nov. 8 case involved the theft of about $48 in pizza, wings and brownies. A gun was reportedly involved. The Nov. 9 robbery involved a gun and the theft of about $109 in Chinese food.
Luckily, all the victims avoided being hurt.
“All the drivers did what we would expect them to do. Heaven forbid you’re in that position, they cooperated with the suspects. Your life is more important,” said IMPD officer William Young.
Police and community leaders hope the arrests show other teens that crime doesn’t pay.
“I just say to all the young men it’s not worth ruining your life by going out and robbing and stealing. You can earn an honest days pay by getting a job and working just like everybody else is doing,” said Walker.
Reverend Malachi Walker, who runs an annual summer empowerment camp with Young Men Inc., says kids need to make better decisions.
“People work hard for their money and for you to take what they work hard for is wrong,” said Walker.
The teens are also suspected in a third case, police said. The incident involved theft from a motor vehicle in which several items were stolen, including a woman’s purse containing debit and credit cards, identification, cash and keys. It happened sometime between Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 in the 10000 block of Snowdrop Way, according to the incident report. The victim reported the theft around 3:15 on Nov. 8.
Robbery detectives identified two juveniles believed to be involved in the robberies. Both were located and arrested after a collaborative effort involving several investigative units, SWAT and East District officers. The teens were arrested Friday.
For their part, police shared an important message for parents as well as kids.
“Know what your kids are doing. These two young men were involved in multiple robberies that could have gotten themselves hurt or someone in the community hurt,” said Young.
“Parents need to know where their children are. Not only that, but as they grow older teach them the importance of making better decisions and choices, not to rob people and take their money they work hard for,” said Walker.
Police are still investigating the possibility that the suspects may be involved in additional robberies.
Anyone with information on the case can still call IMPD’s robbery office or Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.
Since both suspects are juveniles, no booking photos are available, IMPD said. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office will review the case and make a final charging decision.