Police investigate Village Pantry robberies for possible links

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Police in Indianapolis and Greenwood are looking for possible connections between two Village Pantry robberies that happened early Monday morning.

The first robbery happened just after 2 a.m. at the Village Pantry convenience store located near 96th Street and I-69.  The clerk at the store told police two men wearing masks came into the building and one of the men pulled a handgun on him.

“The clerk said one of the suspects was wearing a clown-type mask,” said IMPD spokesperson, Officer Michael Hewitt.

A police report indicates the men got away with cash and Newport cigarettes before leaving the Village Pantry.

At 3:40 a.m., another Village Pantry was robbed just off I-65 in Greenwood. The robbery also involved two men wearing masks.

“One male displayed a handgun and ordered the clerk to open up the register while the other male loaded cartons of cigarettes into a bag he brought in,” said Greenwood Assistant Police Chief, Matt Fillenwarth.

A description of the masks was not available Monday, but Fillenwarth said the two men left the area in a black vehicle.

Based on the timeline and similar preliminary information, IMPD and Greenwood PD are investigating to see whether the two robberies are the work of the same individuals.

“Definitely plausible,” Fillenwarth said. “It’ll just take some more looking into and comparing notes with the IMPD detectives and try to figure out of the two are connected.”

While police have not established a confirmed connection between the crimes, Hewitt and Fillenwarth said the two cases could lead to a joint investigation between IMPD and Greenwood PD.

“That can certainly generate the sharing of information between our two agencies and the detectives that are involved in these investigations,” Hewitt said. “And they can compare notes, compare witness statements and take a look at the broader picture for this investigation.”

“We might have gotten something in a description that kind of puts the puzzle piece, that one piece of the puzzle together for them,” Fillenwarth. “Or they might have that for us.”

Investigators are now waiting for Village Pantry corporate officials to provide surveillance video of the robberies.

“Where there is video available, that is a very key piece of investigative information for these detectives,” Hewitt said.

Anyone with information about either of the two robberies can contact the IMPD Robbery office at (317) 327-3475, Greenwood Police at (317) 882-9191, or Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.

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