Teens thought to be behind attempted flea market theft

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INDIANAPOLIS – The owner of the South Side Flea Market believes two teenagers tried to steal merchandise once the store was closed.

Charles Key is the owner and operator of the flea market, which is located on South East Street. Key said it happened Wednesday night.

“We locked the store and set the alarm about 7:30 and about 7:50, they got out of the booths and started walking around the market. They saw the parking lot was empty, so they started browsing through the booths (to) clear out what they wanted,” Key said.

Key believes the men hid somewhere in the store and waited until everyone left for the day. The flea market has 200 booths.

Chris Luellen said his booth was targeted.

“They came in underneath my fence and broke their way into this case,” Luellen said.

Luellen said the thieves tried to take a couple thousand dollars in merchandise, including iPads, tablets and laptops.

“It’s an awful lot for a small business like ours,” Luellen said.

Key and another booth operator said the men may have damaged some of the cases in order to get to the merchandise. He said the men created a pile of merchandise toward the back of the building. The stash was near two doors and a motion detector, which went off when the men walked near the door.

“When that happened, it sent off a huge siren through this whole store and they knew they were in trouble. We got a call within 30 seconds of him setting off the motion detectors. They ran straight down the aisle (and) out the front door,” Key said.

Key said the men left behind practically all of the merchandise taken out of the booths. The flea market has a number of pictures of the men. Key believes they were teenagers who used to work at one of the booths.

“It’s sad that minors would get in here and start that type of activity at this stage of their life,” Key said.

Luellen wants to offer a reward for information leading to an arrest in this case. He mentioned that his booth has been broken into this past year, and said that’s the reason he set up a camera at his booth.

Key said they contacted the police department.

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