Teens suspected in weekend thefts, vandalism in Fountain Square

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INDIANAPOLIS – It’s an up-and-coming neighborhood still battling a bad rap, and teenage vandals don’t help.

Police believe juveniles might be responsible for crimes in Fountain Square over the weekend, like swiping car batteries and even setting one of those cars on fire.

A couple of things about the crime strike police and residents as odd. First, the time because the suspects started around 7 a.m. on a Saturday. Second, the loot is strange, too, with the vandals cutting cords to get to car batteries.

A man who wants his identity concealed told FOX59 he woke up Saturday around 7:45 a.m. to find his truck in flames.

“This dude’s yelling your truck’s on fire, your truck’s on fire,” he said, “It’s extremely scary. I’m terrified.”

Firefighters put it out, but the Ford Explorer got burned to a crisp. To make matters worse, the battery was gone. The man suspects whoever took it torched his truck.

“If anything, OK, you stole the battery. Why’d you have to set the car on fire?” he asked.

A few streets over, Joseph Duke may have a bum knee or two. But it didn’t cripple him from stopping his own theft.

“They’d cut my cables and was getting ready to take my battery,” said Duke. “I got up and went to the back door and just hollered out and told them that’s a good way to get shot.”

He said he saw a pair trying to swipe a battery from his truck around 7 a.m. Duke scared them off.

These two scenarios are just a couple of cases from that morning in Fountain Square. In others, victims found batteries and stereos missing from their cars, even vehicles spray-painted and vandalized.

“In this case, it appears some neighbors were vigilant. They noticed something suspicious,” said Officer Rafael Diaz, with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Diaz said neighbors should stay alert and never feel afraid to call police.

Now with reports made, officers are trying to track the suspects. It’s a crime longtime Fountain Square resident Joseph Duke can’t understand.

“It seemed a bit stupid,” he said.

A couple of the police reports show the suspects may be white males in their teens. Ironically, according to the reports there were two white males that knocked on the door to tell that one man his car was on fire.

If you have any information on the crimes, you’re asked to call police.