Tire punctured, man pepper sprayed in Martinsville attempted ATM robbery

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MARTINSVILLE, Ind.– A 67-year old man’s trip to get a breakfast sandwich in Martinsville Sunday morning ended in an attempted ATM robbery.

“I’m normally pretty careful about looking around to see who might be there,” the man, who asked not to be identified, said.

Not even an extra dose of caution could stop the brazen act in broad daylight. The man said around 9:30 a.m., he stopped at the ATM at BMO Harris Bank on the corner of Sycamore and Washington St. He said he heard a hissing sound, but at first didn’t think much of it.

“I got ready to pull away and as the car rolled forward, here’s this kid standing here next to me spraying me with pepper spray,” he said.

His only thought was to get away. But it turns out his tire had been punctured with a knife, according to investigators.

Despite the burn and pain from the spray, he drove himself to the police department a couple blocks away and knocked on the back door until an officer came outside.

“As I had made the u-turn, start heading back toward the police station, he was chasing me across the parking lot,” the man said.

Police started investigating.

“You’ve got to get them off of the street for one because they’re doing something like this and not only are they possibly going to hurt someone, I mean this guy could have been more seriously hurt than what he was, but then they may also run across the wrong subject that they try and do this to and get hurt themselves,” Martinsville Police Sgt. Jeremy Sipes said.

Police said the suspect was described as a white man in his 20’s, medium build, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. They captured an image on surveillance video of who they call a suspect in the attempted robbery.

While his attacker did not get away with any money, the man says the damage to his tire and to his car in the rush of getting away will cost him more than $800.

“Martinsville no longer a sleepy little town, we’ve got big city crime right here,” the 67-year old man said.

Both he and police are reminding others to be aware of their surroundings. The man said he’s grateful it was only pepper spray used.

“Very grateful, very nervous, probably not going to use the drive-up ATM for a while,” he said.

If you have information about this crime, call Martinsville Police.

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