Dollar stores remain common target for thieves following violent robbery and shooting in Indy

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- An Indianapolis man is recovering tonight after being robbed and shot on the job.

The violent robbery took place at a Family Dollar on Indy’s near northeast side.

Police and paramedics showed up to the Family Dollar on East 25th Street Tuesday night after a crook stormed inside, demanded money and shot the clerk in the leg because the thief felt he was moving too slow.

The victim will be okay, but police reports show the store has been a common target for thieves in recent years.

The violence didn't come as any surprise to people who shop and work in the area.

“I used to work here and I got robbed and then my auntie started a month later and she got robbed. It’s sad,” said Jackie.

Police reports show the same Family Dollar was robbed last week, as well as four times in less than a year and 12 times over the last four years.

“I’ve seen people run out of here with carts of stuff. They don’t care no more. They’re just trying to survive,” said Jackie. “They need to do something. They need to add security of something, especially in neighborhoods like this.”

In fact, over a four-year period when dollar store robberies became more common, the Family Dollar on East 38th Street has been robbed nine times.

A location on East Washington was also robbed nine times.  A store on East 30th Street has been hit 11 times.  An East New York Street store has been robbed seven times. A Family Dollar on East 21st Street has been robbed 19 times, as recently as three days ago.

The problem isn’t unique to Family Dollar. The Dollar General on Keystone has been robbed 17 times over the last four years.

“There might be a need for regulation specific to cameras, safety devices and visibility.  A lot of these stores you can’t see what going on and they can’t see you coming in, so visibility is a big factor,” said State Representative Ed Delaney.

Representative Delaney says it may be time for state lawmakers or the Department of Labor to investigate the safety of dollar stores, but admits the open layout and tall shelves makes improvements difficult.

“It is a challenge because of the size, the hours and the usage,” said Delaney.  “Most of the improvements cost money. Some of the improvements that work on convenience stores won’t work here. In this kind of facility, you can’t have plexiglass booths surrounding people.  I just don’t think it would work.”

A spokesperson from Family Dollar sent a written response that read, “We are aware of yesterday’s incident. When violence in the communities we serve occurs, it affects everyone - including our stores. We have policies and rigorous training in place to best respond to store safety and security incidents.”

So far no arrests have been made from the overnight shooting. A majority of the robberies were also never solved.

Anyone with information on any violent crime can always contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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