GREENWOOD, Ind. (Dec. 8, 2014)-- Frances Flynn had heard there were burglaries in her Greenwood neighborhood lately, but she didn't realize how bad things had become until she called FOX59.
Greenwood police report they have investigated a dozen break-ins in the community near County Line Road and U.S. 31 and a shooting early Saturday morning.
"Once they got there the victim had been shot once in the mouth, the bullet had traveled through several teeth, out his neck and then had gone into his shoulder," said Assistant Chief Matt Fillenwarth. "According to the victim the suspect had been there to buy seven grams of high-grade marijuana."
Lewis Grimes, 20, was arrested for the shooting at 1291 Tanglewood Dr. The wounded 19-year-old man was hospitalized. A female acquaintance who set up the alleged drug deal told police what went wrong and how to find Grimes at his North Rural Street address in Indianapolis.
Grimes faces counts of battery with a deadly weapon, criminal recklessness and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon due to his previous felony drug and resisting record in Johnson County.
Word of the shooting came as a shock to neighbors who gathered on Lover's Lane to meet with FOX59 and compare notes and trade phone numbers.
"There's been a lot of break-ins we've been hearing," said Flynn. "Bold brave break-ins. Everybody started talking. One of them set up a Facebook page and everybody's been getting through to each other on that and spreading the word and gathering around and kind of watching each other's back and houses."
Neighbors who agreed to be interviewed later called back and asked that their identities be kept secret because of their fear of retaliation.
"They're taking jewelry, cash, just small things," said Fillenwarth. "Obviously it's somebody that is familiar with the neighborhood. Some of the places where the witnesses have seen the suspect cutting between yards would lead you to believe they are familiar with the area. Either they lived there before or they have a girlfriend that lives there or something. They have some kind of connection with that neighborhood. It's where they feel comfortable cutting between yards and houses during the day. 90 percent of the time suspects in these kinds of crimes have a drug habit."
Fillenwarth spent years buying drugs undercover as a narcotics detective but he said now Greenwood is awash in heroin which leads to a rise in panhandling, burglary and shoplifting as well the kinds of disputes that left a 19-year-old man hospitalized with a bullet wound to the face, a young career criminal in jail and neighbors talking.