INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 23, 2014)— A day after FOX59 reported a 76-year-old deaf woman was attacked and mugged in her own east side driveway, more victims are coming forward.
Indianapolis police are investigating after two additional victims, both elderly women, said a similar incident happened to them. Authorities are investigating to see whether the cases are directly related, but the information in the three cases is very similar.
FOX59 spoke to JoAnn Green, 76, who said a man approached her in her driveway. Green, who is deaf, said she thought the man was asking her for directions. Instead, the suspect grabbed her purse and then dragged Green down her driveway before fleeing the scene.
“I’m disabled and I have a cane and I was trying to run sideways,” said Green.
At least two other muggings were reported in the same area last week. The victims, all in their 70s and 80s, gave police similar accounts, describing the white car the suspects were in.
“The [motives] seem very similar in all of these,” said Lt. Chris Bailey with IMPD. “What sticks out to me in all three reports is the vehicle that’s being used.”
Police believe Green and another woman were followed home after running errands at a PNC Bank and Kroger near 10th Street and Shadeland Avenue and the Safeway on 16th and Emerson.
A man also assaulted and mugged an 89-year-old in her car, while in line at the drive-thru.
“You just forget when you come out of a store, there could be someone watching for you as a target,” said Barbara Netzke with Families First Indiana.
Netzke is a counselor at Families First, a group that works with seniors on how to better protect themselves while living alone. She said the elderly especially need to be aware of their surroundings, rely on their neighbors and even carry a medical alert bracelet that can call emergency responders with just a push of a button.
“They’re not going to look for the real strong guy coming out of the store,” said Netzke. “They’re going to come and go after the weak.”
Police continue to investigate and search for suspects. Witnesses reported seeing a man in a white old-style car with a woman driving it. IMPD said they’re looking at surveillance video in the area to see if they can get a picture of the vehicle.