IMPD: Juveniles arrested with guns, drugs and counterfeit cash

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – IMPD arrested three juveniles Saturday evening after police say the teens were caught with guns, drugs and counterfeit cash inside a home they had broken into.

A neighbor in the 4000 block of West 80th Street called police after seeing movement inside the home of an 85-year old woman who was not home at the time.

“This neighborhood was watching and they were very cognizant of the traffic coming in and out of the residence,” said IMPD Sgt. Christopher Wilburn.

IMPD officers arrived, found signs of a break-in and surrounded the home. Police say the teens, ages 14, 16 and 17, were taken into custody without incident.

“These situations are dangerous and they are problematic,” Wilburn said. “Our officers exercised a lot of restraint. They could have come in there and the outcome could have been very different.”

Wilburn said a strong smell of burnt marijuana permeated the home as officers confiscated the drug and items used to smoke it. They also confiscated handguns and 22 counterfeit $100 bills. It’s unclear where the juveniles got ahold of the illegal items.

The counterfeit money is being turned over to the U.S. Secret Service for further investigation.

“You have three juveniles who are now in jail, and they’re supposed to be in school,” Wilburn said.

Jacob Thompson, who lives nearby, says he watched police as they brought the teens outside and wrapped them in blankets to keep them warm. He says he’s disturbed by criminal activity in his subdivision, but he’s also glad one of his neighbors was observant enough to help stop it.

“This is usually a pretty quiet neighborhood, very close knit with some of the individuals,” Thompson said. “So the fact that a neighbor would step up and call kind of makes me a little more comfortable.”

Investigators say the 17-year-old had previously been trespassed from the same house after a previous arrest. They have reason to believe the 17-year old knew the house would be empty. It’s not clear if the teens planned to steal anything from the home, or if they were simply using the empty house to hang out and do drugs, police said.