West side business owners on alert after several robberies

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. –A store clerk is recovering after being shot in the arm. The shooter is still on the loose. The shooting happened at around 12:15 p.m. Police were dispatched to the 2900 block of W. 16th St. on the report of a person shot Saturday.

IMPD confirms an attempted robbery happened at VIP Wireless. A clerk was shot in the arm at least once and was transported to Eskenazi. Their condition is not available at this time.

Many of the businesses owners and neighbors said it’s alarming to know this is happening in their community. They said there have been several businesses robbed in the last few weeks.

They said it’s why they are constantly checking their surroundings. “I’m so sorry for the person you know. It’s just been happening all day. I don’t know why it’s going on; maybe the government has to do something about it, just try and protect the people around here,” The Shark employee Ola Oloade said.

Neighboring business owners said it’s the second time this week VIP Wireless was hit by a robber. “It happens this season mostly November and December time. It was the same last year too,” Oloade said.

The Shark is another area business that’s been a target.  Oloade said two days ago they were hit. He’s always on the lookout. “When you’re walking watch your back. When you’re driving watch your back. When you are trying to park your car. It’s everywhere it’s not on this street. It’s happening everywhere,”  Oloade said.

Church members at the Church of the Living God Saints of Christ are always reminded to lock their doors and put their valuables away. “We’ve had problems in the past, but we just caution our members just pay attention to what’s going on around you,” Church of the Living God Saints of Christ Pastor’s wife Valerie Strayhorn said.

Valerie Strayhorn said it’s alarming to know the clerk across the street got shot, but said the church’s relationship with IMPD puts her at ease.

She has a message for the criminals. “I would tell them they need a relationship with the Lord first of all, but there are jobs out here. There are people that are out here that will help you if you want to change your life. All you need is a desire to do the right thing and there are people here to help you,” Strayhorn said.

Ololade said you can’t let fear control your life. “I just come to work and pray to God you know. My life is in God’s hands so,” Oloade said.

IMPD couldn’t confirm if all these robberies are connected or not, but there have been several businesses targeted.

They said around the holidays robberies increase and people need to be very cautious.

IMPD said detectives are still following up on information.

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