INDIANAPOLIS — A 19-year-old is behind bars accused of orchestrating a pair of armed robberies in Indianapolis.
Police claim the suspect used online e-commerce apps to commit the crimes.
In both robberies, prosecutors claim the suspect lured the victims to an apartment complex where his aunt lives and then robbed those victims at gunpoint.
An Indianapolis mother told police she went to the Stonybrook Commons apartments near 30th and German Church to buy a used car last month.
That’s when the victim claims a man robbed her at gunpoint in front of her three young kids.
That victim told police she used the online tool OfferUp to arrange the meeting.
Two weeks later, five men drove to the same apartment complex to buy a used phone when prosecutors believe they were ambushed by the same armed thief.
Those victims used Facebook to arrange the meeting.
Police insist both crimes could have been avoided.
“It is preventable. Remember to use common sense and make smart decisions,” said IMPD officer Genae Cook.
In recent years IMPD has set up e-commerce safe zones at each of their six district headquarters buildings to give people a safe to place meet.
“I cannot express enough we have these e-commerce zones for everyone to use. If a person is not comfortable coming here, it’s probably not an item you should not buy,” said Cooks.
Following the pair of robberies last month, police tracked down and arrested Dujuan Lucas Junior. According to court records, 5 of the 6 victims identified Lucas as the gunman.
Police again urge everyone to avoid meeting strangers at unsecured locations.
“You have to think about what could happen, what might happen,” said Cook. “Make it so you’re comfortable with that transaction and where it’s occurring.”
The suspect is due in court for an initial hearing Friday. In the meantime, he’s being held on an 80 thousand dollar bond.
“E-Commerce Exchange Zones” are available at the following police districts:
•North District Headquarters – 3120 E. 30th Street
•East District Headquarters – 201 N. Shadeland Avenue
•Southeast District Headquarters – 1150 S. Shelby Street
•Southwest District Headquarters – 551 N. King Street
•Northwest District Headquarters – 3821 Industrial Boulevard
•Downtown District Headquarters – 39 W. Jackson Place Suite 500